Monday, September 23, 2013
Start The (Racing) Fun: Toyota Motor Philippines Launches Vios Cup One-Make Race
Nothing comes close to the thrill of motor racing—the smell of petrol in the air, the sound of free-flowing exhaust reverberating in the spectator stands; it’s a unique and complete sensory experience. For some, they’ve felt it through Formula 1 or NASCAR, but for most Filipinos, motor racing, particularly circuit racing is an alien concept. However, the country’s number one car manufacturer aims to change all that. This October 2013, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is announcing its comeback into the world of motorsports with the Vios Cup.
“For us, nothing communicates Waku-Doki, or the fun in driving more than the exciting world of motorsports—This the main reason why we have decided to launch the Vios Cup. The sound of engines roaring and rubber burning always gets anyone’s blood pumping with excitement. Yet, motorsports in the country has not been as popular due to multiple factors such as high costs, accessibility, and lack of support from major bodies,” said Mr. Michinobu Sugata, President, Toyota Motor Philippines.
As a follow up to TMP’s participation in the local motorsports scene with the Corolla Cup way back in 1998, the Vios Cup is a grassroots racing competition catering to motorsports enthusiasts and just about anyone who enjoys the thrill of driving. The Vios Cup is designed for non-professionals making it a platform for everyone. This race is also bound to be a showcase of the true meaning of Waku-Doki through the country’s best-selling car—the Toyota Vios.
Based off a bone-stock Toyota Vios 1.5 G M/T, the Vios Cup Car is modified to international FIA standards and is actually a Philippine Touring Car (PTC) Division 3 race-ready car. TMP has modified the Vios through the use of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts including a racing roll cage, a free-flowing exhaust and aero kit. Other changes include the use of an OMP steering wheel, bucket seat, and harness as well as light-weight Rota wheels and sticky Yokohama tires. Along with driving training (every car comes with competition driving lessons courtesy of Tuason Racing School) and other appropriate fees, the Vios Cup Car sets one back some P 700,000 on top of the P 812,000 purchase price of the car itself. However, in order to make it more affordable to racers, Toyota is subsidizing 25-percent of the cost, meaning the entire package is now just approximately P 1,200,000. Toyota Motor Philippines will start delivering the Vios Cup cars for customers starting in December of this year and hopes to complete a 35-car grid by early 2014.
Setting the tone for Toyota Motor Philippines’s full-blown motorsports activities in 2014, TMP is holding a Vios Cup exhibition race at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga on Saturday, October 12, 2013. The Vios Cup exhibition race features several motoring journalists including The Philippine Star’s very own James Deakin along with popular celebrities such as Rhian Ramos, Phoemela Barranda, Aljur Abrenica, Fabio Ide, and Jhinno Rufino. Aside from the race itself, the exhibition race has a lot in store for visitors including a concert by The Oktaves, Spongecola, The Zombettes, and DJ Ace Ramos. There will also be Toyota car shows, driving exhibitions, car club track gatherings, kiddie activities, and many more. The whole-day racing event is open to the public and it’s absolutely free.
“After the event on October, we shall open our doors to those who would be interested to build a Team and participate in the 2014 race season. Furthermore, in order for us to achieve something even more successful and even more sustainable in the coming years, we would like to invite more partners to join us in developing this exciting world of Motorsports. This will help us achieve maximum impact in improving Motorsports in the Philippines,” concluded Mr. Sugata.