2017 Toyota Vios Cup – Keeping up the spirit!

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MIKE POTENCIANO

(Part 1)
After watching the second round of the 2017 Toyota Vios Cup, I am very happy to report that the racing spirit is alive and well! Thank you to the biggest car brand in the country and easily in the top 3 of the world, Toyota has not wavered on its commitment of supporting local motor sports since they started the one make championship three years ago.

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The Vios Cup rounds may had been moved to Clark for the whole season but its head to head, racing action is still there and looks like has grown fiercer this time! Here’s our race review of the second round held last June 10, 2017.

Race classes
The Vios race format has been retained for this year, meaning that there are basically four classes that are running in each leg. The first race is the promotional class for the beginners, gentleman or woman drivers and are paired with the celebrity drivers too. The next race is for sporting class drivers, which are graduates of the promotions class.

The premiere class is the super sporting class where the best drivers in the Cup run and are now of National B Grade licenses which is one of the highest levels in racing. The drivers here are sponsored by the different dealers of Toyota and get the highest cash prizes including a brand new Toyota Vios for the champion at the end of the year!

Race 1
In the first round last April, it was all about the young Cebuano driver Daniel Miranda who dominated both races. This time, Daniel just arrived from Australia where he is now based and studying and didn’t have time to practice. The weather is also pouring and making the track wet and tricky to get a good time. Qualifying was very tricky and wet and Miranda was still able to get the best time.

Come race day on Sunday, it was again raining and I knew it would be a good race to watch. The first race of the Promotional/Celebrity race was all bumping and trading paint especially in the middle of the field. Don Vic Portugal of Toyota San Pablo came out on top after a good race up the field. Toyota Alabang’s Evelyn Coseteng tried to hold on to first place but fell back due to her flu that made her weak in the end. Red Diwa from Toyota Isabela was on his way to a good finish but was being bumped all the way to 3rd place.

For the celebs, newcomer Dominic Roque proved to be a as good a driver as his TV escapades and took first place over lady drivers Ella Cruz and Gretchen Ho. Dominic’s pace looks like he is good enough to battle the seasoned drivers and showed it by dicing with them all the way.

The sporting class was dominated by Paolo Agregado of the newly formed Obengers Team. His great driving skills were honed from years of drifting and has now transformed it to a more fluid racing skill. Mark Sy of Toyota San Pablo could have made it a great race except for the mistakes of other cars in front of him. The young and talented Aira Medrano from Toyota Alabang was still coping with the tricky track but finally got it into 3rd place.

The Super Sporting Class was very exciting till the end when Obenger’s lead man Daniel Miranda fought long and hard to take first place in the last few laps over GM Motorsports/Toyota Bacoor’s Andres Calma. Calma looked like he was on the way to a dominant finish but the track dried and Miranda caught up in the end. Gerard Loy of Team Biskeg came up short of overtaking Calma and had to settle for 3rd.

Race 2
The top 6 of each class were reversed in their grid positions for the next round of races. The track was now dry and this proved to be faster and closer racing at the limit.

The same top 3 winners in the Celebrity Class of the first race also came out for the second one, namely Roque, Cruz and Ho, However, Roque was now battling it out for first place overall with that of the Promotional Class winner Red Diwa. Roque even bumped the rear end of Diwa in one of his overtaking maneuvers and almost spun out the leader! Roque apologized after and all’s well in the end.

Don Vic Portugal was involved in too many bumping incidents that made him fall out of first place and settled for 3rd. Gel Napat of Team Biskeg finally got his dream finish of 2nd place after avoiding all the accidents. Newcomer Marc Soong came in 4th and enjoyed his battle with Rey Bunag who finished in 5th.

Senator JV Ejercito finally broke his bad luck and won his first race in the Sporting Class for Team Obengers. JV has been always up there with the best but could not get a break from his bad luck until this race. Tonton Ramos of San Fernando followed him closely and a few more laps would have made it exciting. Mark Sy climbed to 3rd in the end after a hard fight in the middle of the field.

Even with the reverse grid, Miranda still climbed his way on top of the Super Sporting Class. The dry conditions showed how great his car was set up by overtaking at will and going over kerbs to short cut the lines. His condition at the end of the race showed how hard he fought to win this race. Gerard Loy got one place higher in 2nd place and Ramon Tanjuatco finally got it all right to take 3rd place.

The race results were not final until the scrutiny at the end and there were surprises that came after. In my next report we will also report on the inside stories of the 4th Season and find out what happened to other teams and drivers that were no longer competing. Till next week, Godspeed!

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