The Toyota Vios Cup 2017, which kicks off on April 29 at the Clark International Speedway, is exactly the fun shindig you need to let an unbearably hot day whiz by with hardly a complaint.
Now on its fourth season, the prestigious race is primed to top the exciting races of seasons past with the introduction of a few rule tweaks and a roster of experienced and promising racers who are raring to wrest this year's top podium finishes.
But first the must-dos:
If you’re a race aficionado with a taste for feverish wheel-to-wheel racing, you’ve no choice but to home in on the veteran track savvy of Allan Uy and Steve Bicknell, who’ll be defending their Super Sporting Class and Sporting Class championships respectively.
If you’re out there to discover Philippine racing's next best thing, spare a moment or two cheering for 16-year-old Parts Pro Racing team member Julia de los Angeles, this season’s youngest racer.
And if you're a budding motorsports fan on the lookout for picture-perfect moments that'll make your IG account pop, check out the drifting exhibition of Japanese Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya (plus points if you score a selfie with him), or sample the other attractions installed around the venue like racing simulators, wall climbing setup, and a bungee trampoline during racing breaks.
Of course, a season of the Vios Cup would be incomplete without the fast and furious racing stylings of Toyota's invited celebrities.
The Fab Four to watch in this year’s edition are rookie speed sisters Ella Cruz, Gretchen Ho, Aubrey Miles, and 2016 participant Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Newbie Dominique Roque and Vios Cup veteran Fabio Ide round up the cast that’ll likely draw the curiosity of the crowd.
With perennial top placers Sam YG, Jinno Rufino, and FHM cover girl Phoemela Baranda skipping this year’s festivities, the clash among the celebs is expected to be far more competitive and unpredictable than it was a few seasons back.
Also, the female celeb racers are eager to wow fans who are seeing them for the first time out of their comfort zone. "Alam mo, matagal na akong di nakapagmaneho ng manual transmission, mga 10 to 15 years ago pa," Aubrey says of the one challenge she needs to overcome before the race. "Pero I'm sure makukuha rin yan basta I take the practices seriously."
That's exactly what the three-time FHM cover girl and her co-participants have been doing leading up to Race No. 1. "They've been putting in the hours and miles on the track and braving the hot sun as they tear down the asphalt," observes Topgear.com.ph staff writer Jason Tulio, who covered one of the Vios Cup track practices recently.
Such focus is, obviously, not apparent in these post-practice shots, but make no mistake, these ladies are pumped to test their mettle on the racetrack on Saturday and looking forward to crossing the finish line with plenty to spare.
Admission to the Toyota Vios Cup 2017 is absolutely free. Gates will be open to the public at 9 a.m.