Heart pumping excitement.
Anyone who has ever been on a racetrack, whether actually driving, being part of the team, or just spectating, can attest to this exhilarating feeling of being part of a race. It is the atmosphere that makes motorsports tournaments a thrilling spectacle, no matter where you watch it.
Local racers and racing fans recently got to experience the thrill of racing once more as Toyota Motor Philippines brings back the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Vios Cup.
Last July 2021, well-loved celebrities and racing teams competed in the first leg of this one-make-race series at the Clark International Speedway, while fans and racing enthusiasts took part in the festivities through its live broadcast on social media.
"Coming a long way since the first Vios Cup in 2014, we are very happy that we are returning in the speedway to bring the thrill not just on tracks but to every screen as well. Safety runs in our core, that is why we have come up with this kind of event where everyone can enjoy the exciting races and activities and still be within the comforts and well-being of their own home. We are excited for everyone who joined the competition. We continue to spread the spirit of Waku-Doki or the power of thrill for everyone," said Elijah Marcial, Toyota Motor Philippines Vice President for Marketing Services.
Racing for the win
For racing prodigy Iñigo Anton, the race was everything he expected it to be – very exciting and extremely tough.
Anton has made headlines in 2020 for winning virtual racing cups at a very young age and for being a newbie standing proud among veterans on the podium, but this tournament was his first official circuit race.
"I feel like I have been preparing for this all my life. I have been racing cars since I was eight," he shared. "Racing can be very stressful and competitive so I also have to be prepared emotionally."
Anton won the first Circuit Championship Race 1 under the Sporting Class and has finished consistently within top ranks in succeeding races.
For aspiring racers, he has this to say, "Nothing should stop you from doing what you are passionate about. Learn as much as you can from watching other racers. Try to get into a program where you can get proper training like the Toyota Gazoo Racing Academy and remember that you can be good at anything as long as you put in the time and hard work."
For Maila Alivia, winning the first race of the Promotional Class was the perfect opportunity to prove that women can go head-to-head with men on the circuit.
"I had mixed emotions. This is my third year and [I] was ecstatic to get podiums. Finally!" she said. "Preparations were made a year ahead by staying healthy and exercising a lot."
She also shared how she loves racing in a Toyota Vios because parts are available and attainable. Plus, she appreciates the challenges that the car brings.
Passion, practice, and determination plus a good coach is Alivia's winning formula, but more than a podium finish, what she loves best about the Vios Cup is the community. "I found a family. A racing family wherein drivers and rivals become friends. And it is fun."
This sentiment was shared by other racers as well. Alivia's main competitor in the Promotional Class, Jiro Garbes, admits that even though he had limited time to practice, the whole event was fun.
"TGR Vios Cup is exciting because people are always pushing the limits of what this car (the Vios), that we normally see on the road as a family car or a taxi, can do. Racing a car that is limited on a lot of things really boils the competition down to just the skill of the drivers,'' said Garbes, who finished two out of three races at the podium.
For someone with no professional experience, apart from racing go-karts with friends, Garbes shared that it takes a crazy amount of determination and focus to win.
"The number one skill is being able to adapt to a lot of things. Racing car drivers, especially the best of the best, know how to adapt to the weather, track temp, tire wear, new brakes, new weights, etc. But being able to adapt to what your coach says is more important. I finished on the podium twice on the first leg of my debut and it was all because of Tetsuya, the greatest teacher I have ever had."
Other champions agree that one of the best parts about the Vios Cup is that it is a one-make-race series, meaning that winning relies heavily on a driver's skills and not on his fancy machinery or expensive upgrades.
''That means all cars will have the same specifications, and it is up to the driver's skill to make the time instead of just money. All this makes for a very tight race which is an awesome challenge,'' said Julian Tang, a consistent podium finisher in the Sporting Class.
He also talked about how he likes racing with Toyota because of how reliable it is. ''Things rarely go wrong with it and if you take care of it, it will take care of you. On the plus side, if something needs replacing, Toyota's service is quick to respond to get you back on the track.''
When asked about what it takes to win in a competition like this, Tang has this to say, ''For me, it takes a calm mindset and a positive attitude to win a race. Racing is not only physical, but it is also a test of mental fortitude.''
Estefano Rivera, champion of the Super Sporting Class, adds that quick hand and feet coordination and a driven mentality are skills also needed in this sport. For those who want to go pro, Rivera advises that they apply to different Racing Schools so they can learn the basics of the sport first before slowly advancing to joining competitions.
''It takes constant dedication and hard work to win in this sport wherein your mentality should always be, there is room for improvement,'' he said.
Delivering Waku-Doki to Filipinos
Whether a casual driver or a professional racer, the Vios Cup showed that anyone can experience the brand's trademark waku-doki (heart-pumping) thrill.
At a time of great challenges, Toyota aims to bring happiness and excitement to racing fans across the country by working to get this tournament up and running in a safe environment.
"We strived to overcome the challenge of staging an event of this scale while taking the safety of everyone in our team and the fans into consideration. Because of that, we have prepared this program, especially for the fans and motorsports enthusiasts so they can join in the action wherever they are. The participants, both returning and new, are very excited to run again around the course where they can display skill and talent and test their limits for the better," shared Elvin Luciano, Toyota Motor Philippines Assistant Vice President for PR & Communications.
Apart from being a premier supporter of the development of motorsports in the Philippines, the company is also passionate about motorsports because it believes that there is much to be learned on the tracks that can be applied to its road cars. With TOYOTA GAZOO Racing being a dedicated global motorsports brand and development arm for Toyota, this vision is in line with the company's continuous goal of developing ever-better cars – vehicles that are fun-to-drive and made with quality, durability, and reliability.
If you missed the first leg, do not worry as the heart-pumping thrill never stops. Catch your favorite racers on the succeeding legs of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Vios Cup happening on October and November 2021.
Relive the exhilarating moments of the first leg with replays available on the Facebook and YouTube pages of Toyota Motor Philippines.
Follow TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Philippines on Facebook for updates on all things Toyota motorsports. Check out Toyota Motor Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, and its website for regular updates on products and services, dealer operations, announcements, and events.
NOTE: BrandNews articles are promotional features from our sponsors and not news articles from our editorial staff.