A new class for seasoned competitors of the annual Vios Cup will now be the centerpiece of the 2016 series that will kick off from March 18 to 19 at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga.
The annual race event, which was first introduced in 2014, will banner a full grid of more than 60 participants for the three classifications of drivers.
Now in its third season, the 2016 Vios Cup will have a Super Sporting Class that will feature elite local racers together with some international competitors.
According to Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation president Satoru Suzuki, the race series aims to foster the competitive atmosphere of motor sports to its participants while boosting the popularity of racing in the country.
“This March 19, we are all set to kick-off the first race this year; the fun shall continue at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday.
“With new celebrities and some familiar faces that will make up the third season, to a possible new venue outside of Luzon and more competitive drivers. All in all, I am confident that this racing program will further boost the popularity of local motors ports,” Satoru added.
Consequently, 2015 Sporting Class champion Andres Calma together with the other 14 top racers in their division last year will have to slug it out in the new class for more seasoned drivers. Calma is the son of basketball legend Hector Calma.
Also, following his successful stint against his rivals in the Celebrity Promotional Class, champion Sam YG together with second-placer Phoemela Baranda will now be promoted to the Sporting Class.
“It’s going to be very tough. I’m actually very excited and nervous at the same time. When you move up, of course, you challenge yourself even more,” Sam YG told The Manila Times.
“There are a lot of young drivers and a lot of drivers from abroad and they will be competing in the Vios Cup this year. The first race will dictate a lot, actually,” he added.
Besides the roster of current celebrities in the Promotional Class, three new entries namely Arci Munox, Megan Young and Jericho Rosales will join this year’s series.
International race car driver Keith Bryan Haw and another foreigner will be among the new faces in the tough Super Sporting Class.
After the opening round in Clark, Pampanga, the Vios Cup will shift to Filinvest, Muntinlupa from May 21 to 22.
The race series will also go to the province of Bacolod on September 9 to 11 also this year.
The venue for the final round of series, which is slated from November 4 to 6, is yet to be announced by the organizers.