After just one event in 2022, Toyota Team Cebu (TTC) is already having to beef up its driver lineup in this year’s Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Vios Cup. Russel Cabrera and Jarond Mesina will join the rest of the team starting Round 2 this August not just to give them more opportunities at victory, but also a shot at the overall team championship.
Both drivers were handpicked by team captain Lord Seno and team manager John Velasco as the two youngsters share a very common motorsports background. TTC requires that all their new recruits must have experience in karting, eSports, autocross, and the AAP’s Motorsport Development Program (MSDP). They must also be fully committed to the sport. Russel and Jarond are able to fulfill all these traits, plus they also both hail from the region with Russel’s father and team engineer Jun Cabrera originally from Iloilo and Jarond who is based in Cebu.
Russel claimed the Intermediate Class title during the ’20 Petron Motorsports Karting Academy. He then won the GR Supra GT Cup Asia Ph Junior Class title twice in a row. More recently, the 18-year-old driver scored 1st and 2nd place finishes in GT100 at the Philippine GT Championship just a month ago.
Jarond, on the other hand, was an active karter a few years back working his way from Cadets to the Senior Class. He then switched sports and is currently an Ironman 70.3 Triathlete. This marks his official return to motorsports after a long hiatus.
Both drivers will make their TGR Vios Cup debut this August 19/20 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Russel will be TTC’s lone entry in the Sporting Class, while Jarond is set to join Ian Rosales and Alan Palacios in the Promotional Class. Meanwhile, Lord Seno leads the way as TTC’s Super Sporting Class driver.
John Velasco, Team Manager: “We welcome Russel Cabrera who is running in the Sporting Class. Despite his young age, he brings with him a lot of experience in karting, eSports, and touring cars to Toyota Team Cebu. This seat was promised to him for 2023, but we decided to run him this year to compete for team points. We also welcome a new driver Jarond Mesina who is running in the Promotional Class. He’s our ‘unfinished business’ as his karting career was cut short years ago. Now we’re happy to see him back in motorsports racing with us.”
Toyota Team Cebu is sponsored by Toyota Mandaue South, Standard Insurance, BCR Construction, Bethel Insurance, Daily Driven Transport Taxi, Solid Construction, BG Injector Cleaner, LG Farms, Staging Lines Cebu, Blueflame LPG Refilling, LTS Luminex, Suarez and Sons Inc., MMF Glass Factory, Bully Concepts, and MRA Performance Shop.