|By: Arabelle Jimenez|
|Participating racers with Toyota Motor Philippines Executives led by TMP President Saturo Suzuki during the Opening Ceremonies of the 4th Leg Toyota Vios Racing Festival 2019 in Clark International Speedway on November 9, 2019. This marks the conclusion of a very exciting racing VRF season.|
I learned to drive when I was 12 years old. Yes, you read that right. Coming home from school, I would ask our family driver to change places with me so I could take the wheel. No worries, this was inside our village, and in the 70's, it was not a big deal at that time. So there I was, a little girl sitting on an attache case to reach the pedals, learning the stick shift, and feeling like I was on top of the world.
That little girl has grown up (but not much), and loved to drive long distances. In my twenties, I crossed France to Spain in a little Peugeot. I was content doing road trips and reviewing cars every now and then. For recreation, I did some kart circuit racing with my daughter Alyssa in the 90's at City Kart when it first opened in Paranaque.
Fast forward today, I never thought I'd try a hand on autocross racing. But then again, why not? I love cars and driving.
|My first feel on the wheel of a Vios race car, made my heart race.|
Feeling confident with what I learned from AAP Motorsport Development Program Module 1 with former champion car racer Vip Isada, and some pointers from current autocross champion, Milo Rivera a few months ago, I accepted an invitation from Toyota Motor Philippines to be among the media racers in the 4th leg of the Vios Racing Festival, which was held at the Clark International Speedway on November 9, 2019.
|Race day with my partner Monch Henares. Photo: Dino Arevalo.|
With nothing to lose, I went out there with my partner Monch Henares, who represented Motourismo to enjoy the fast-paced experience and witness the thrill of racing. We sure had a great time seeing our friends from Toyota Motor Philippines, and fellow media racers. We made new friends and got inspired with Toyota Vios Racing Festival's advocacy --- to initiate and develop grassroots in motorsport development in the country.
|Toyota Motor Philippines executives introduced the Media Racers during the opening ceremony of the 4th Leg Vios Racing Festival. Photo: Carlo Nemo.|
True to form, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) concluded the 2019 Vios Racing Festival season with an adrenaline high race weekend. The final races saw over 70 Circuit Championship and Autocross Challenge drivers making the most out of their turn on the track with heightened waku-doki spirit (Japanes phrase for heart-pumping experience) powered by the ever-reliable Toyota Vios.
|Rose among the thorns. I feel privileged to join the autocross challenge for the first time.|
Below is the Media Category Qualifying Results in the Autocross Challenge:
|I finished number 19 out of 24 media racers, 6 seconds behind the top ten qualifiers. A learning experience that makes me want to race more, given the opportunity.|
After the qualifying round, only the top ten in the above list were able to move up to compete in the semi-finals and then ultimately, in the finals. Here are the podium finishers in the media category:
|Media Autocross Challenge Winners: Champion Anjo Perez of WheelsPH, 2nd Place Jose Altoveros of Autoindustriya, and 3rd Place Raymond Figuerres of Top Gear.|
Series front-runners delivered podium finishes, but new champs also appeared in the winners’ list. At the end of the November 9 race day, TMP recognized the racers who won the final rounds of the Vios Circuit Championship and the fourth leg of the Vios Autocross Challenge.
|Vios Autocross Social Media Personalities Winners: Champion Vince Vandorpe, 2nd Place Jun Sunga, and 3rd Place Reph Bangsil.|
|Vios Autocross Car Club Winners: Champion Carlos Inigo Anton, 2nd Place Sean Kody S. Ng, and 3rd Place Mikkie Carbonell.|
"Toyota appreciates your heartfelt support over the course of the Vios Racing Festival. Together, we all contribute to the growth of motorsports in the Philippines, and we’ll continue to do so for more years to come," said TMP President Satoru Suzuki during the race's opening ceremonies attended by the race participants and spectators.
|Toyota Motor Philippines President, Satoru Suzuki gives his opening remarks at the 4th Leg of the Vios Racing Festival held at the Clark International Speedway on November 9, 2019.|
TMP has been organizing Vios motorsport events in the country for six years now. For this season, TMP added the Autocross Challenge to the event, transforming the annual Vios Cup into a more inclusive and accessible Vios Racing Festival by opening racing slots to more car club members, motoring journalists, social media personalities and even regular drivers or Toyota fans who joined TMP’s social media contests.
Crowd-drawers were the celebrity racers composed of Gerald Anderson, Troy Montero, Aubrey Miles, Gretchen Ho, Chie Filomena, and Daniel Matsunaga. Here are the Celebrity Category Race Results:
|Circuit Race 7 Celebrity Class: Champion Troy Montero, 2nd Place Aubrey Miles, and 3rd Place Gretchen Ho.|
|Circuit Race 8 Celebrity Class: Champion Troy Montero, 2nd Place Aubrey Miles, and 3rd Place Gerald Anderson.|
Here is a complete list of all the winners at the 4th Leg Vios Racing Festival:
The 2019 Vios Racing Festival is supported by TMP’s partners and sponsors Bridgestone, Petron, Motul, Rota, Brembo, Denso, AVT, 3M, OMP, and Tuason Racing.
For more information and updates on the Vios Racing Festival and TMP's motorsports program, visit Toyota's official website at www.toyota.com.ph and follow its social media accounts at www.facebook.com/ToyotaMotorPhilippines, www.instagram.com/ToyotaMotorPhilippines and www.twitter.com/ToyotaMotorPH.
Watch Event Video, click here.
For more stories, visit arabellejimenez.ph