Toyota’s much awaited flagship sports car, the Supra, has arrived in the Philippines. The legendary sports car, which carries on the legacy of the racer favorite from the 90s, made its Philippine debut at the Vios Racing Festival held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga, last July 8.
The new sports car, which will soon be offered locally, was driven by Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) president, Satoru Suzuki. While the vehicle will be formally launched at a later date, there could be no more appropriate venue for it to make its first appearance. The Toyota Supra has become legend among car enthusiasts and tuners, owing to its popularity in grassroots motorsports like time attack and drifting, as well as its appearance in pop culture, particularly in movies like The Fast and the Furious, and video games like Need for Speed and Gran Turismo.
The Vios Racing Festival is an event series that brings together racing veterans, celebrities, car club members and Toyota owners with two race formats involving the all-new Toyota Vios One Make Race (OMR) car. It is a continuation of the Toyota Vios Cup series, reimagined to become more a more inclusive and accessible motorsports program through races and activities, all held with no admission fees. The two race formats are the Autocross Challenge and the Circuit Championship.
The Autocross Challenge is a timed competition wherein drivers navigate through an obstacle course one at a time. The Circuit Championship is the classic Vios Cup format wherein drivers race simultaneously over a set number of laps to determine the winner. The Vios racecar has been modified for optimum handling and performance given the two different racing formats.
“Today, we witness the first leg of the Vios Circuit Championship. This event will be the first time that the all-new Vios One Make Race model is going to be tested at the circuit since its appearance as the official pace car in Filinvest, Alabang last 2018. I hope that you are all as thrilled as I am to see the all-new Vios in action,” said TMP President Satoru Suzuki as he formally opened the competition.
“As our way of saying ‘thank you’ for coming all the way here at the Clark International Speedway, I am very honored to announce that you are now among the first in Southeast Asia to see the 2019 Toyota Supra in the metal,” said Suzuki.
For the Autocross Challenge, Toyota continued its push for a more accessible motorsports program by inviting Toyota owners — even those with no prior racing experience — to join the online contest via its official Facebook account. Winners were given a chance to be part of more than 50 Autocross racers who experienced the power and performance of the OMR Vios race car. They will compete in one of three classes: the car club / Vios owners class, the media class, and the influencer class.
For the Circuit Championship, the participants have been divided into three categories: the competitive Sporting Class, the up and coming Promotional Class, and Celebrity Class – participated in by a total of 22 racers.
For the Celebrity Class, fans and spectators saw Vios endorser Gerald Anderson racing with Chie Filomeno, Gretchen Ho, Daniel Matsunaga, Aubrey Miles, and Troy Montero. Former celebrity racer Fabio Ide has advanced to the Promotional Class.
The Toyota Vios Racing Festival is held in cooperation with Bridgestone; supported by Petron, Motul, and Rota; and other sponsors Brembo, Denso, AVT, 3M, OMP, and Tuason Racing. TMP’s premiere motorsports program is also supported by: Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota Racing School, and Toyota Racing Development.
The Vios Racing Festival will return to the Clark International Speedway for the second and third leg of the Circuit Championship in August and November respectively.
For more the list of winners, updates on Toyota events, or information on Toyota vehicles, visit Toyota’s official website or Facebook page.
Text by Iñigo S. Roces, Photos by Toyota Motor Philippines