Ladies, start your engines! Meet the women of the Vios Cup race
In the 18 years that I have been in the motorsports industry, I only competed once. It was an autocross event held maybe about 12 or 13 years ago.
Even though I owned a racing school, married a race car driver/instructor, and trained with several racing schools like Skip Barber and Michael Andretti, I never seemed to have the amount of focus needed, the humility to listen to my instructor (husband), and the discipline to control my aggressiveness.
Today, women are compared to men on driving styles. The once male-dominated world is slowly equalizing, giving equal footing to female drivers.
This year, we saw an increase in ladies participating in the Vios Cup.
Racing this series is not an easy feat. Imagine competing with 70-plus cars on the grid, 85 percent of which are driven by males with raging testosterones trying to outwit, outpace and prove who is the fastest racer of the weekend.
Without further ado, let us meet the roses among the thorns.
Twenty seven-year-old Gretchen Ho is not new to sports. She was first known to be the attractive volleyball player for Ateneo.
Now, she hosts ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda, does reports for TV Patrol, and does speaking engagements.
When first asked about competing in the Vios Cup, she thought “Yeah, I think I can do it, but can I?” She had initially hesitated, but was not the type to succumb to fears.
She loves driving, and believes that the Vios Cup came at a perfect time in her life. “I’m at a point where I want to be bolder, tougher, and more adventurous with my life” she added.
It also helped that she believes that anything in life can be learned if you want to: if you remain open, humble and always with the mindset of a student, you will keep improving and seeing yourself break your boundaries.
Twenty-year-old Internet dancing sensation Ella Cruz is living her life to the max. She has an upcoming movie and a healthy singing and dancing career. She surfs, and in her free time, designs her clothes.
She was very excited when asked to join the Vios Cup’s Celebrity Team. For her, racing is different from everything else she is doing.
She enjoys the camaraderie, and in particular, the beer showers during the awarding ceremony.
She has learned that you must be determined and learn control when racing, that being fast is not everything, and that strategy is the key.
Racing in her second season, Jasmine is out for blood. The indie movie princess and multimedia actress (besides films, she acts on theater and the digital series “Forever Sucks”) is keen on being in the top spot.
“My expectations for the year are simple: get as many podiums as I can, and beat the boys with strategy and lots of practice.”
Curtis-Smith was only able to race in one leg in 2016, but her improvement after being absent on the track was enormous.
This was also evident when she clocked the fastest time for most of the weekend in the first race of Season 4.
She believes that if she doesn’t overwork her head by taking one turn at a time, she has a big chance of outmaneuvering her competition.
Jasmine has set her mind on challenging the boys this season.
Julia Manas Delos Angeles
When you see 16-year-old Julia Delos Angeles, you can imagine her enjoying hobbies like playing the violin and piano, and baking.
But you would never think that this soft-spoken, very lady-like teenager to be a former karting champion—and now the youngest Vios Cup racer.
Julia started racing when she was 11 years old. She learned patience, discipline, and dedication through her two-year stint as a cadet karter.
She has wanted to join the Vios Cup series since she was 14, but the FIA rules specify that you can only do so when you reach the age of 16.
Julia is running as a privateer supported by her parents under the newly minted Parts Pro Racing Team of well-known car enthusiast Raffy David.
Actress and fitness enthusiast Aubrey Miles knows competition. After competing in the Amazing Race Asia and Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Showdown, the 35-year-old actress and television host knows how to adapt and be patient while learning the ropes.
She thinks that she needs to take her time to be fast. There is a saying that for one to learn how to be fast, one needs to start slow, and this is Aubrey’s strategy.
“For me, I have to be willing to fail to win. Can’t rush anything. Racing doesn’t come naturally to me; it takes time.”
At 52 years old, Evelyn Coseteng wasn’t content with being on the sidelines and simply cheering on her famous racer husband Jody Coseteng or her champion karter son Eduardo; she wanted to be part of the fun.
Evelyn is a force to reckon with in the Vios Cup. A consistent podium placer and a steady competitor, she believes women are good racers because they have more to prove.
In racing, she has learned to be focused and determined.
She also enjoys practical shooting in her spare time.
For karting champion Aira Medrano, this year is all about winning. With the Promotional Championship crown slipping from her grasp during the last two laps of the 2016 season, this 20-year-old is not giving up.
From being a shy college student, Aira has transformed into a competitive racer.
Aira is an avid sports person who enjoys diving and synchronized swimming. She also plays the ukulele, and is into collecting and solving the Rubik’s cube.
She will now race in the sporting class, where faster and more experienced racers will not give her a quarter just because she is a lady.
She will not need the kid’s glove treatment, though.
We wish these ladies good luck, and that the racing and beauty gods weave magic on their perfectly manicured hands as they take the steering wheel come raceday.