By Argie C. Aguja
INSTEAD of dampening the mood, intermittent rain showers intensified the waku-doki spirit of racers from different classes and participating teams as they sped their way through the tracks of the Clark International Speedway during the third leg of the Toyota Vios Racing Festival last Aug. 31.
At the end of race day, more than 20 racers successfully made it to the winner’s podium after competing at the second round of the Vios Circuit Championship and the third round of the Vios Autocross Challenge, both organized by Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP).
Celebrity contender Troy Montero clinched two first-place victories at the Circuit Challenge Celebrity Class, but unfortunately, had to drop out of Race 6 after an unexpected crash with fellow Sporting Class racer John Dizon, right after crossing the finish line for Race 5. Daniel Matsunaga took the top spot of the Celebrity Class for Race 6.
Aside from Montero’s incident, celebrity racer Chie Filomeno failed to finish the final race as she slid off-track due to aquaplaning.
Both celebrities were quickly brought to the hospital for checkups, and were cleared to be back at the venue in time for the awarding ceremonies.
“No matter what happens, I still find myself coming back to this sport. The adrenaline rush it gives me is out of this world,” Filomeno said in a post-race Instagram post.
“Despite the outside damage, the driver’s area was totally untouched. We also have a roll cage, race suit, and helmet, and most especially the HANS (head and neck) device to keep us safe,” Montero explained on his own Instagram account.
In the Circuit Challenge’s Sporting Class, Red Diwa of JBT Racing-Toyota Isabela won Race 4 while Eggy Ong of JBT Racing-Toyota San Fernando managed to keep the first place title in both Races 5 and 6.
In the Promotional Class, Julian Tang of Toyota Otis Obengers took the victory in Race 4 while one of the only two female racers in this class, Elysse Menorca of Toyota North EDSA Obenger, won Races 5 and 6.
During the Autocross event, Carlos Inigo Anton triumphed in the Car Clubs category; AutoIndustriya’s Jose Luis Altoveros led the Media Category; while Jules Aquino took the top spot in the Social Media Personalities category.
“On behalf of Toyota Motor Philippines, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our customers and fans who have dedicated time and effort to witness our Vios motorsports events,” said TMP President Satoru Suzuki during the race’s opening ceremonies attended by the race participants and spectators.
For six years now, TMP has been organizing Vios motorsport events in the country and added the Autocross Challenge, transforming the annual Vios Cup into a more inclusive and accessible Vios Racing Festival.
The next and final leg of the Vios Racing Festival is scheduled on Nov. 9, still at the Clark international Speedway. The final races will determine the overall winners of this season’s Circuit and Autocross competitions. The Vios Racing Festival is supported by TMP’s partners and sponsors Bridgestone, Petron, Motul, Rota, Brembo, Denso, AVT, 3M, OMP, and Tuason Racing.
Below is the complete list of the podium finishers from last weekend’s races: