My bad driving habits were exposed at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup
After a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, the Toyota Vios Cup – now called the Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup – is back in force and in the collective spirit of the times.
For most of the past decade, the Vios Cup has been the testing ground for riders and contenders. Here you have the country’s best-selling car, addressing the base of the Filipino racing scene by giving everyone a platform to prove their mettle.
This year Toyota introduced the Toyota Vios 1.5G CVT as the official single-make vehicle for the autocross challenge. While the seven-speed CVT is quite capable, in a competitive environment nothing beats a good old-fashioned manual transmission, but this ingenious move by the Vios Cup organizers further strengthens the goal of having the events. Using a CVT level the playing field between novice and experienced drivers. Bringing the fun and spirit of grassroots racing to everyone has always been Toyota Motor Philippines’ goal.
I was fortunate to have been invited to the event for the Autocross Media Challenge. You would think and hope to be in the actual racing event where you can race the entire Clark International Speedway in triple digits, but you have to get your feet wet first before you dive in, and trust me when I tell you that autocross racing is It’s not the walk in the park that you might think.
To begin with, the list of field participants included my automotive peers – people who know the wheel and the track, whether through knowledge or experience. You also have young influencers, trying their hand at the route with the Vios, bursting with enthusiasm and excitement. You can see the hunger and longing in the eyes of every contestant to win the coveted top prize by whatever means necessary, but we are sternly reminded to hold our horses and keep ourselves in check.
Under the watchful eyes of race organizers and officials, we were constantly reminded to check ourselves before we (and the cars) in trouble, and that last part is a danger that is always clear and present. You see, while the festive atmosphere, the beautiful people, the smell of burnt rubber and the fun camaraderie as well as the thrill of the competition can become quite intoxicating, presence of mind must be to have at all times though. you want to complete the course in one piece, let alone earn.
There has never been a time when we haven’t been constantly reminded that safety comes first. Practical life lessons were to be learned from these procedures and were greatly appreciated by all. Following the defined course, accelerating if necessary and knowing when to stop are all prerequisite skills that must be immersed in the course as well as outside. It has never been so evident with my own experience on the track.
During practice, with nothing on the line and a cool head being the order of the day, I was able to gain respectable, even excellent lap times. Then the real competition came and I completely lost him on the track. Knowing the stakes, I was all over the place, hitting cones, missing marks, I was like a completely different driver from testing.
Not being able to finish was not a great experience. In my desire to finish in the fastest time possible, I only played myself in the process. Looking at the footage from the camera I mounted, I realized that I was making all the mistakes that I was preparing not to make. No, I wasn’t a granny changing gears and dual clutching like I should, mistakes were more avoidable if I only had a clear face. Realizing my own mistakes of the course hit me hard and gave me epiphany, I had really bad driving habits and in this crazy driving course reality hit me hard.
Autocross, to the uninitiated, may look like an actual event sideshow, but this is where you go completely wrong. The lessons you learn on the course are the same lessons you need when driving on the open road: keep your mind clear, look towards the road, step up the throttle and know that sometimes the fastest way to go. to move forward is to slow down.
I would like to thank Toyota Motor Philippines for the opportunity to participate in their Vios Cup event! The next step will be announced very soon so stay tuned for ZIGROUES.PH for more announcements.
Roy Robles Pictures