TROY Montero pulled ahead of podium mainstays Gretchen Ho and Daniel Matsunaga to reach the checkered flag first among the Celebrity Class in the final race of the Toyota Vios Circuit Championship kickoff leg.
The opening round of the Circuit Championship was held on June 8, Saturday, at Clark International Speedway in Angeles, Pampanga. An admission-free event, the stands were filled with motorsports enthusiasts and diehard fans.
Montero, Ho, and Matsunaga were part of a pool of racers who participated in this year's Vios Racing Festival. One of the country’s most recognizable motorsports competition, it's an event where celebrities, racing teams, car club regulars, members of the motoring media, and aspiring racers come together to experience the racetrack-worthy power and performance of the Toyota Vios.
This year, a new racing format was introduced: the Autocross Challenge. More than 50 racers, including five Toyota owners who won their participation via Toyota's social media contests, fought for the best time on a specially-designed course. By the end of the challenge, it was 14-year old racing phenom Iñigo Anton who set the challenge record, clocking in at just under 50 seconds.
The Circuit Championship also divvied up its racers into three categories: Sporting, Promotional, and Celebrity. In the Promotional Class, Team Obengers achieved a podium lockout for Races 1 and 3, with member Francis Adriano claiming 1st place in Race 2. The Sporting Class had more varied winners: John Dizon for Race 1, Eggy Ong for Race 2, and Lord Seno for Race 3.
In the Celebrity Class, Montero secured two 1st place victories, wheeling past other famous personalities—including Aubrey Miles and Gerald Anderson—in Races 2 and 3. Matsunaga scored an earlier win, clinching gold in Race 1, while Ho proved herself a top contender by earning a podium finish in all three runs.
Watch this to see all the highlights from the event:
Special awards were also handed out later that night. Chie Filomeno and Aubrey Miles were named Coolest Driver and Most Consistent Driver, respectively. Gerald Anderson, on the other hand, seemed to have won over his competitors, fans, and sponsors when he went home with the Overall Male Celebrity Driver Award, Fan’s Choice Award, and XCS Smooth Driver Award.
The racers will once again hit the track on August 31 and November 9 for the next legs of the Vios Circuit Championship. Visit the Toyota website and follow Toyota Motor Philippines on Facebook to know more.