Fourteen-year old racing phenom Iñigo Anton and actor Troy Montero scored dramatic wins in their respective categories in the inaugural Toyota Vios Racing Festival’s Autocross Challenge at the concert grounds of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, recently.
Anton of Mark Young Racing-Yokohama showed his mettle in the Car Club Class against 40 competitors by qualifying second fastest during the opening day’s first round knockout competition. The feat booked him a place in the finals the next day.
Anton consistently set the fastest times during the knockout stage to make it to the final four. He then battled it out with autocross veteran Michael Scott Carbonel in the finals, with the latter drawing first blood with the best time of 1:12.23 (minutes) in their class.
Anton had to dig deep but tried not be pressured by the crowd. In his final run, Iñigo set a time of 1:11.13 that propelled him to first place in the Car Club division. Carbonel finished second and Daryl Brady, who also drove well with 1:12.47, third.
“It was really tough,” said Anton. “It was my first time to drive the Vios race car and I had to adjust to it with only two runs. Luckily, I set the fastest time when it mattered most.” Anton was given a special racing license by the Automobile Association of the Philippine because of his numerous championships. He is preparing for his first Philippine GT circuit race with Team Obengers-Parts Pro-DTE.
“The knock out stages in this form of competition leaves you with no room for error, one mistake and you are out. Inigo held it together all the way to the end,” said Anton’s father Carlos, referring to the international Gymkhana format the organizers used in the event.
In the Celebrity Class, Montero shocked a lot of racers by handling the new Toyota Vios Cup race car superbly and posting the best overall time of 1:10.63 in his last run of the day. Montero just took up autocross only that weekend and registered quick times in qualifying and the elimination rounds. He eventually ruled the Celebrity Class.
Actor Fabio Ide was the first to set the best time in the same class in his last run with 1:14.10. His time held on until the final round when Montero overtook him, relegating Ide to second place. Female TV host and volleyball player Gretchen Ho came in third with 1:14.77.
The Toyota Vios Racing Festival goes back to its roots with the next round going to the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga in June.
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