|Photos by Ulysses Ang|
Visayan racing fans, car enthusiasts, and the curious were all treated to the largest grid in Philippine motorsports history by having 44 drivers battling it out for a shot at the championship. Working in close coordination with the Government of Cebu, the South Road Properties (SRP) was transformed into a Philippine version of the Monaco Grand Prix with its tight, twisty turns and unforgiving metal barrier walls.
“I am thrilled to bring the Vios Cup to Cebu City. This experience was staged in Manila last year and now to the beautiful city of Cebu. This takes local motorsports another step further. This would not be possible if not for the support of the Government of Cebu City under the leadership of Mayor Michael Rama,” said Mr. Michinobu Sugata, President of Toyota Motor Philippines.
And walking the talk, Sugata himself suited up to race in the second leg of the Vios Cup, competing alongside the celebrities in the Promotional Class. He was joined by Mr. Tomohiro Iwamoto.
Sharing a passionate interest towards motorsports, Mayor Rama himself greeted the racers and race fans alike who braved the unforgiving heat. He then reiterated his support for Toyota Motor Philippines and the Vios Cup. “You are always welcome to come back here to Cebu,” said Mr. Rama before gamely dressing up in a racing suit for the photo opportunity.
He said that Toyota Motor Philippines and the Vios Cup is always welcome to go back to Cebu. And just for the photo op, Mr. Rama gamely suited up in a full-blown racing suit.
“The dream of bringing the Vios Cup to Cebu City has finally become a reality. The support of the Government of Cebu along with our partnership with South Road Properties (SRP) Administration, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM), DPWH Cebu, and Toyota Cebu – Mandaue South were all instrumental,” added Mr. Sugata.
The tight street circuit brought about big surprises that shake the 2015 Vios Cup championship wide open. With away races having a double points multiplier, securing wins here and any street circuit is valuable. With some portions of the circuit resembling a rally cross, because of the dirt and dust, drivers who were more familiar with grippy venues were left trying to find a comfortable rhythm. In addition, the lack of practice time for the Cebu City SRP Circuit allowed natural talent to shine through.
“The Cebu City SRP Circuit is by far one of the most interesting tracks because you go through wide roads only to have it funnel into a small portion. And to top it all off, there are areas where it resembled a rally because of the dirt on the ground. It tests your skill regardless of level,” said celebrity DJ Sam YG.
In the Sporting Class, Andres Calma secured Pole Position for both Race 3 and 4. He then won it convincingly from there. The rest of the podium was all surprises with Daniel Miranda winning Second Place in both Race 3 and 4. Third Place went to Bobby Domingo in Race 3 and Allan Uy in Race 4.
In the Promotional Class, Paolo Rodriguez won both Race 3 and Race 4 while celebrity DJ Sam YG won the Celebrity Class. Sam YG was so fast he was lapping as much as 2.5 seconds per lap quicker than anyone else in his heat. Other podium finishers in the Promotional Class were Third Place – Arthur de Jong (Race 3), Ferdinand Dysioco (Race 4); Second Place – Oscar Suarez (Race 3), Steve Bicknell (Race 4). Suarez is the only Cebuano to score a podium spot in their home race.
“Congratulations to Toyota Motor Philippines and to Cebu City. It was certainly fantastic. It was all a fantastic experience…It was a fantastic show. It’s everything we want. It’s the best thing in life,” added Sam YG.
Motorsports fans in the Visayas region certainly got a kick with the successful staging of the Toyota Vios Cup in Cebu. Adding more flair and flavor to the event, Keiichi Tsuchiya, the Drift King not only gave drift demonstrations with the Toyota 86 sports coupe, but gave guests including racer Jasmine Curtis-Smith a taxi ride in the new Lexus RC F. A heart-pounding performance by Manila DJ Mars Miranda capped the event.
The 2015 Vios Cup Race 2 is in partnership with Bridgestone and Rota, supported by Motul, TRD, Brembo, Super Shuttle Roro, Denso, AVT, OMP, and Tuason Racing.