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June 17, 2017

Bringing Waku-Doki to a New Level

Waku-doki, Toyota’s underlying theme for the Vios Cup, means, “heart-pumping excitement.” It’s the kind of feeling that most would expect in motorsport, more so from first-timers who attends a race with no expectations. This was exactly what happened to me at the second round of the 2017 Vios Cup. It was one of the rainiest Saturdays at the Clark International Speedway, with rainfall the likes of Typhoon Signal Number 2. However, what started out as a gloomy day turned out to be the advantage (and challenge) that racers and spectators turned out for.

Rainfall meant starting out with a wet track, a factor that made racers scramble at their respective pits to get their cars prepped and ready for the day. The energy and excitement heightened as they made their way to the track; where, at this stage, celebrity or not, man or woman, every driver was on a level playing field. The anticipation was felt even at the viewing tents and grandstands.

A walk up and down the pits allowed a glimpse of what happens behind-the-track—of the intensity and energy in the preparation for drivers and mechanics, the cheers of victory every time a driver pulls ahead, and also the frustrations faced by teams in between rounds when the race becomes too close. This was exceptionally true for rookie Vios Cup drivers like Marc Soong (Obengers), who was determined to make position at this race, and celebrity Jake Cuenca, who has always took on one new challenge after another; first-time participating team, Parts Pro Racing, with its eye-catching zebra-print car wraps; competitive celebrity participants like Dominique Roque; returning rookie, Aira Medrano; and crowd favorite, Daniel Miranda, who, rumor has it, may have potential to drive for an F3 position.

It was refreshing to note that there were more women drivers at this round of the Vios Cup, strengthening the global campaign of most car brands in supporting the entry of women in motorsports. As mentioned, 2016 rookie, Aira Medrano was back under Toyota Alabang, and Evelyn Coseteng also represented the group. The Celebrity Class also saw the return of 4 women racers: actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith, host Gretchen Ho, actress Ella Cruz, and model Aubrey Miles. Each one drove with the same stamina and passion as their male counterparts and was also able to achieve excellent pace.

The race itself did not disappoint. Because it was a wet race, the day’s run saw skirmish between drivers, the likes of celebrity Dominique Roque, Red Diwa (Toyota Isabela), and Marc Soong (Obengers), contention between Gretchen Ho and Ella Cruz for pole position, and a head-to-head run for the top spot between Daniel Miranda (Obengers) and Gerard Loy (Biskeg). These highlights, as well as slippery tight turns, cars skidding along the wet track, kept spectators on the edge. Even the hosts were glued to the monitors, with co-host Gaby Dela Merced describing the race as, “one of the most exciting rounds so far.”

Going back to the philosophy of waku-doki, and how Vios Cup has evolved with every season, Toyota has brought the definition of “heart-pumping excitement” to another level — that waku-doki is not in the race or the fun of the drive itself, but it’s in the process. Waku-doki exists in the thrill and integrity of the race, the devotion to training, the determination to become the best of the best, and in answering the challenge of making motorsports more inclusive and relevant to everyone. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes excitement truly heart-pumping.

 Words and Photos by Gen Tiu

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