The World of Toyota, ongoing until August 18, 2013 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City was the venue for some major announcements from the market-leading auto brand. First was the inclusion of the FJ Cruiser as part of the official lineup of Toyota Philippines. On the motorsports front, surrounded by Formula Toyota race cars and decked-out 86s, Toyota unveiled a specially-equipped Vios, based on the all-new 2014 model.
Toyota announced that the Vios will be the basis of a one-make race (OMR) series specifically tailored to the Philippine market. The Vios is equipped with various TRD upgrades, including exhaust and intake package to free up some horsepower; a limited-slip differential and tuned suspension to put that power to the pavement; and beefier brake pads to bring it all to a halt. And of course, a roll cage, in case something goes horribly wrong.
First round of the OMR will be held later this year at the Clark International Speedway, chosen for its proximity to Metro Manila. Ten cars will be on the grid, with five drivers coming from the media and five drivers being the celebrity type. Toyota will screen them thoroughly via simulators and runs in the real car. OMR are highly competitive and the racing is expected to be wheel-to-wheel all the way.
2014 will see the series expand to more races. A street race was mulled by the company but the logistical requirements seem to be insurmountable. The Toyota Vios Philippines races will see the country joining regional motorsports initiatives, with similar series being run in neighboring Thailand.
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