Team to beat
All eyes on Obengers as Vios Cup Season 4 enters third leg at Clark Speedway
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Obengers coach Roland Hermoso says the team’s recent successes have put the onus on the drivers to “stay hungry” and make the 2017 Toyota Vios Cup (Season 4) a winning season for them.
“We respect and learn from each other’s differences and rely on them to find more creative ways to solve challenges. I tell them it takes work, it takes commitment, it takes motivation,” says Hermoso, a former Asian Formula 3 star who has been coaching the team since 2014.
“Finding time to practice amid busy schedules, and win during the actual race can be done, as we have proven in Team Obengers’ previous race performances,” he adds.
Thanks to the performances of Daniel Miranda, Senator JV Ejercito, Paolo Agregado and Marc Soong, Team Obengers was able to bag the Round 2 team awards with 84 points.
Driver to beat
During the second leg of the 2017 Toyota Vios Cup held last June 10 at the Clark International Speedway, it was Team Obengers’ 20-year-old Miranda who made the biggest impact, and who hopes to literally ride the momentum of that strong showing during the third leg, happening this weekend at the Clark International Speedway.
Miranda also bagged the Driver of the Day award while, at the same time, recorded the fastest lap in his class with 2:24.154.
Mirroring his first leg results, Miranda placed first in the Super Sporting class in both races of the second leg.
Andres Calma, 2015 (Season 2) Vios Cup champion, finished second while Gerard Loy placed third in Race 1. Race 2 saw Loy and Ramon Tanjuatco in second and third place, respectively.
For Race 1 of the sporting class, Agregado, along with Mark Sy and Aira Medrano, finished first, second and third, respectively.
One highlight from the second leg was Senator Ejercito driving off with his first-ever Vios Cup victory in Race 2. He was followed by Tonton Ramos in second, and Sy in third.
The senator relates that he was just lucky considering the Senate was on break two weeks before the race, and he was able to practice twice to perfect his racing lines.
“Considering their (team drivers) busy schedules, we were fortunate to get available days where we were able to train as a team. Usually, I check each setup of their respective cars, and coach them individually on how to better handle their Vios,” says Hermoso who combines over 30 years of racing experience in various disciplines of road racing.
Hermoso adds that Team Obengers drivers’ raw talents and ability to understand input, and translate that into faster lap times every race show their abilities as trainable drivers.
“If you are passionate about something, you will make time for it. I have enjoyed myself so much and have learned so much in the last six months. While it takes time and effort to be able to commit to racing, you just have to be willing to put in the hours and give up on other things like staying out late and having drinks.
“Lastly, fitness is also an important factor in racing, so I have been doing my best to get fit lately,” says Soong, who bagged the Fastest Lap Award in the Promotional Class (time: 2:27.91), while earning enough points to enable him to finish fourth overall.
Soong relates that being the newest member of the team, he has been making an effort to earn more seat time.
“But seat time is useless without expert guidance, so aside from listening to our team coach’s inputs, I also partnered with Allan Uy who coach me privately. Moreover, the team is fully supported by Cosco Oben, which is a huge factor as to why our team is doing great,” Soong said.
Oben is team principal representing Toyota dealerships of North Edsa, Otis, Balintawak, and Marilao in Bulacan.
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