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Racing back to life

Its once sad and empty track now came back to life with a slew of action-packed racing.

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photoGRAPHs courtesy of tmp TOYOTA Vios vehicles line up at pit lane after an adrenaline-packed round of racing action.

After a year of hiatus, this year’s season of the Toyota Gazoo Vios Cup marks the comeback of adrenaline-filled face-to-face races that again saw the gates of Clark International Speedway in Pampanga open to competitors and their respective teams. Its once sad and empty track now came back to life with a slew of action-packed racing.

Before the actual races, however, certain protocols were put in place to ensure safety among racers, staff and guests upon entering the facilities.

Crews and drivers were required to undergo Covid-19 swab tests before going to the track. Only a few crew members were actually allowed at the event: Two mechanics, one driver and two driver guests.

On Toyota’s third and final leg of its three-part race series 49 racers gathered at the race track for this season’s climax.

RACERS compete tooth and nail as soon as they were unleashed on the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga. / photoGRAPHs courtesy of tmp

“Today marks another milestone for the country’s premier motorsports program. We are at the homestretch — the final leg of this year’s races,” Toyota Motor Philippines president Atsuhiro Okamoto said during the opening program.

“We have championed over many obstacles to bring the TGR Vios Cup back. And we couldn’t have done this without all of you,” he continued.

The final leg comprised of three Circuit Championship race classes — Super Sporting, Sporting and Promotional; and the Autocross Challenge with media, celebrities and influencers as participants.

driver prepares inside the cabin before heading out on the scorching track.

The double points ruling for the last two races of the Circuit Championship gave racers the chance to zoom ahead of the previous leg’s winners. The defending winners of the second leg put the pedal to the metal to go on full competition mode to secure the championship title.

On their competitive strides, Jiro Garbes, Jacob Ang and Pauland Dumlao reached the podium in their respective race classes.

Racers pushed their limits with Team Asiatel–OTR Racing Team racer Jason Lao grabbing the win for the Promotional Class. Meanwhile, Eagle Cement Racing Team racer Jacob Ang dominated the Sporting Class while Pauland Dumlao took the top podium spot again for the Super Sporting Class.

Racers Troy Montero, Joaquin Garrido and Estefano Rivera, meanwhile, took the spotlight in their respective classes for the final race of the season.

The thrill continued in the Autocross Challenge with a higher difficulty level during the final run. Racers had to bring their A-game maneuvering through more obstacles compared to the previous legs while tackling a different area of the track.

The contest concluded with social media personality Jules Aquino claiming the championship title in the Celebrities and Influencers class, with Arron Villaflor and Lexi Mendiola following as second and third placers, respectively. In the Media class, Jose Altoveros bested other racers. Trailing him were Enzo de los Reyes and Paolo de Borja in second and third places, respectively.

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