AMONG some of his many skills, it was Michael Schumacher’s ability at taking to a wet track that put him in a class all his own during his illustrious career, with the legendary F1 driver having habitually shone in races held in pouring rain. For participants in the Toyota Vios Cup, the latest round of the one-make race series served as a learning experience (as watered-down as it is compared to an F1 race) at exactly how difficult it is to drive on a soaked circuit.
The second leg of the Vios Cup, held recently at the Clark International Speedway, actually took off on a dry track, with 28 of the series’ 30 drivers having lined up on the starting grid for the first of the two races scheduled for the day. But no sooner have the drifting exhibitions and track-day drive ended did the rains come. As a result, the track became so soaked that the second race was—at one point—threatened to be called off.
But eventually the downpour turned to drizzle, and so the race was green-lighted. The conditions, however, proved too challenging for most of the racers, who found themselves skating rather driving. While spin-outs, crashes and numerous near-misses made for spectacular viewing, the safety of everybody on track remained the paramount consideration for Toyota Motor Phils., most especially to company president Michinobu Sugata. Not helping was that dusk was quickly setting in, too.
And so after the racers completed nine of the 12 scheduled laps, the checkered flag was waved, signaling the end of the race. Taking the podium spots were Jason Choachuy, Allan Uy and Luis Gono, each of whom displayed superb car control in the wet. In the Vios Cup’s celebrity division, consistent top-finisher Phoemela Baranda was overtaken by Sam YG. The media division saw a lone finisher in Paulo Subido.