Slipping and sliding on a wet track
It was an exciting weekend at the Round Two of this year’s Toyota Vios Cup as 52 racers, composed of 46 individual teams and six celebrity drivers traded paint and jostled each other at the corners for precious championship points. Held at the Clark International Speedway last June 10, the competitors raced in three main categories— the Super Sporting Class, Sporting Class, and Celebrity & Promotional Class. While the round was expected to garner the same level of competitiveness as the opening leg last April, what racers and spectators did not anticipate for a summer run, happened — it rained. A day before the actual race, Clark was enveloped in darkness as the province experienced one of the most intense showers of the season, making race day a very wet one.
Rainfall meant a wet race and there was nothing more exciting than a more challenging track. Suddenly, there was skirmish between drivers, race cars skidding along the track at tight corners, and turns that became visibly harder to control. Not only did these elements keep spectators at the edge of their seats, but for the champions, it made winning even sweeter. To loosely quote Vios Cup co-host Gaby Dela Merced, “This is one of the most exciting rounds so far that even we were on the edge while watching from the sidelines.”
20-year old Daniel Miranda of the Obengers was crowned champion in the Super Sporting Class, a position that he sustained from the first round of this year’s Vios Cup. Senator JV Ejercito took the top spot of the Sporting Class — his first time to claim the crown at Vios Cup in four years. Actor and TV host Dominique Roque won as Celebrity Class champion, being one of the most assertive drivers on the track that day. And Red Diwa of Toyota Isabela came out in first place of the Promotional Class.
This race also highlighted the participation of more women drivers. It was girl power at its finest. Two of the most notable were Aira Medrano, who was awarded the Denso Fastest Lap in the Sporting Class, and Evelyn Coseteng, who took home the Motul Slingshot award in the Sporting Class. Both drivers represented Toyota Alabang. In the Celebrity Class, the spotlight was on Jasmine Curtis Smith as the AVT Overall Best Female Celebrity Driver and Ella Cruz as the Brembo Most Improved Celebrity Driver.
As with any Vios Cup, Toyota has always designed it to be a family affair. While the track was the main attraction, there was an activity area composed of sponsors’ booths that featured games and attraction for teens and young children. This included a mini bumper car track just in front of the stage for kids to enjoy a “race” of their own. This area made the Vios Cup experience more holistic and engaging.
For veteran attendees, it may have been just another day on the track, cheering on their favourite racers. But for first-timers, it was the race that would likely make them consider marking Round 3 as a destination in September — and this time, rounding up the rest of the gang and making it a barkada affair.