After a five-year hiatus, Aira Medrano returned to racing, moving up from a go-kart to a Vios car and pulling off a fifth place finish in the Promotional Class of the recent Vios Cup Season 3 at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga.
“I’ve been racing for so long – I started karting when I was nine years old. And then I stopped when I was in third year high school. I decided to return to racing and told my parents that I miss it. So this season, I joined the Vios Cup,” said Medrano.
Influenced by her father Hilario Roman who was a former racer, Medrano is now a member of Team Toyota Alabang that guided her in her preparation for the Vios Cup.
She usually trains at least one month before a race, so her practice for the third leg that happened last September 10 started mid August.
As a fourth-year Architecture student at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Medrano aims to maintain balance between her studies and her sport, “I don’t slack off in my studies. I just focus on it and on car racing.”
She said that she does not think too much about her upcoming races and plays the ukulele to reduce pre-competition stress.
Medrano had a hard time adjusting in the sixth race with a maximum load of 60 kilograms. The nineteen-year-old racer will practice with the same weight so that she can handle it easily in the last leg.
“The mistakes I’ve had serve as lessons for my future races. The results here in the third leg and in the second one in Filinvest went well. In my first leg, the results were not good enough so after that, I told myself that I have to bounce back in the second leg. I then finished third and a champion in the third and fourth races so from that, I maintained my momentum and brought it here,” Medrano said.
Guided by her principle, “When in doubt, take chances and just push through,” Medrano aims to come back even stronger in the last leg of the Vios Cup.
“FIA (International Automobile Federation) told me that I got shortlisted for the FIA women in motor sports. There are opportunities coming my way since I started here in the Vios Cup and I would grab those because I really like racing and I want to try the other motor sports.”
She dreams of becoming another Gabby Dela Merced and Michelle Baumgartner whom she considered as her idols since her karting days. “They motivate me. If they can, I can do it too. This serves as my stepping stone.”