By Kap Maceda Aguila
THERE’S NO REST for the wicked — and the wickedly good. After annexing the crown in their respective categories of the GR Supra GT Cup Asia Philippines e-motorsport event staged by Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) with partner Tuason Racing, Terence Lallave, Lance Padilla and Jose Luis Altoveros will now represent the Philippines in the regional finals.
The trio will be pitted against the best e-racers of India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand who also ran the gauntlet on the way to copping their own championship crowns. The regional finals will be held on Oct. 25 on three virtual tracks, according to Tuason Racing President JP Tuason. These are Fuji Speedway (Round 1), Tokyo Expressway (a fantasy track representing Tokyo streets [Round 2]), and the Nürburgring Nordschleife (Round 3). “I think we have a good chance of placing well in the regional finals. We have a strong lineup of drivers. We will prepare the drivers and with a bit of luck in the race, possibly get a podium position,” Mr. Tuason said.
“I would like to congratulate our three winners for pushing their limits and giving their best. Lance, Terrence and Jose, go and make us proud!” said TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto.
As connectivity will obviously play a crucial part in the competition, TMP has tapped PLDT Enterprise as the official connectivity partner of Team Philippines “to ensure fast, seamless and lag-free internet connection, while the team races with the challengers from other Asian countries on the virtual tracks of PlayStation’s Gran Turismo Sport.”
In a statement, ePLDT President and CEO, and SVP and Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez averred, “The current landscape has pushed all of us to come up with innovative ways to continue on with how we do things and technology has been a key enabler for many of these initiatives. With this, I would like to commend Toyota Motor Philippines for how they’ve pushed the envelope for racing through a groundbreaking virtual platform. We are proud to partner with you on such undertaking and we look forward to seeing how this will raise the bar for the local sports industry.”
Mr. Lallave is a 35-year-old businessman and social media influencer from Quezon City; Mr. Padilla is a 24-year-old aircraft mechanic and businessman from Bacoor, Cavite; and Mr. Altoveros is a 25-year-old writer and photographer from Quezon City.
Mr. Okamoto pleasantly noted in a virtual press conference with members of the motoring media that the GR Supra GT Cup Asia PHL has amassed more than 750,000 virtual fans, and 363 aspirants tried their luck.
Meanwhile, replying to a question from “Velocity,” TMP First Vice-President Sherwin Chualim said that while plans are afoot to hold the Vios Racing Festival (VRF) during the second half of next year (the event was canceled this year because of the pandemic), it will still depend on quarantine levels “whether (TMP) can actually hold a physical race.” He added that, for now, the GR Supra GT Cup Asia PHL will supplant the VRF until “it’s safe to resume.”
Finally, TMP PR and Communications Manager Elvin Luciano reported that the donations from TMP and fans of the e-motorsport series have reached almost P100,000. The sum will go to the beneficiary foundation: Students’ Transformation and Enrichment for Truth-Values Integration and Promotion.
Fans and supporters are enjoined to post messages of support to the team using #GRSupraGTCupAsia and #TeamPhilippines. For more information, visit facebook.com/toyotamotorphilippines, the GR Supra GT Cup platform on ONE Esports www.oneesports.gg/grsupragtcupasia2020/, or www.toyota.com.ph/gtcup.