Toyota Team Cebu’s (TTC) race victory came from the most unlikeliest of places when the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Vios Cup held its second event last August 19/20. Russel Cabrera, who happens to be their newest and youngest member, went on to win during the very first race of the weekend, on what was his very first race in the championship. The team would also score 4 more podium finishes at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) with drivers Ian Rosales, Alan Palacios, and debutant Jarond Mesina to add to their points tally.
Super Sporting Class
It was a weekend to forget for Lord Seno. Struggling to match the pace of the other Super Sporting Class runners, the TTC team captain is still winless as the season reaches its halfway point. He could only wring out a pair of 6th place finishes and a 4th place across the line despite his best efforts. However, it wasn’t his driving that was to blame. The team found out late into the weekend that his #43 Vios OMR was down on power and is in dire need of an engine rebuild.
With a refreshed engine and zero weight penalties heading into the final event, Lord is aiming to bounce back hard during the season finale in November.
TTC new recruit Russel Cabrera quickly proved to be a strong contender in the Sporting Class. Despite poor results in Qualifying, he was able to capitalize on a first lap incident in Race 1 to jump into the lead. He held onto 1st place all the way to the chequered flag to win on his debut. A bad start in Race 2 then saw him drop 2 places to 6th, which would no longer recover from. However, a reverse grid start in Race 3 meant that he would line up on pole. Russel successfully defended his lead for half the race distance before being relegated to 2nd where he finished. His efforts also did not go unnoticed and was awarded as the Brembo Driver of the Day in the Sporting Class.
A trio of yellow-and-blue TTC entries battled up and down the field in the Promotional Class. Ian Rosales in the #69 machine claimed the team’s first class podium by finishing 3rd in Race 1. Meanwhile, another newcomer Jarond Mesina did well to climb 3 places and finish just 0.228 secs behind his teammate on his very first TGR Vios Cup outing. Alan Palacios though was a bit unlucky. Whist running in P3 en route to a podium, his #44 car was hit from behind and forced him into a DNF. But he was later able to redeem himself in Race 2, climbing his way up from last all the way to 4th place when the chequered flag dropped and missed out on a podium simply due to a transmission issue. His teammates followed him across the finish with Ian in 5th and Jarond in 6th.
Bad luck once again struck Alan in Race 3 as he had to start from the back of the grid due to an earlier penalty. But that did not deter the driver from Iloilo who, through sheer will and determination, drove his heart out and found a way to finish 2nd. Jarond continued to impress on his debut claiming another podium in 3rd with Ian in tow in 4th.
Toyota Team Cebu is now bracing for an epic championship showdown when the TGR Vios Cup returns to the Clark International Speedway (CIS) on the 18th/19th of November.
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 MR Performance Shop.
[Photos by James Morales Jr]