How 'Team CarBay' reached the semi-finals in the Toyota GR Vios Autocross


In between the circuit races of the 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Vios Cup, another exciting battle commenced on Clark International Speedway's main straight. 

That competition was the TGR Vios Cup Autocross Challenge, which included 12 social media influencers and 12 members of the motoring media.

The unofficially named "Team CarBay," composed of this writer and ZigWheels Philippines managing editor Roy Robles, entered the challenge. 

Autocross racing is a race against time, in which drivers maneuver a tight course outlined by barriers and pylons. 


Before the qualifying, semi-finals, and the finals proper of the Vios Cup Autocross on July 10, the joining influencers and media were given practice sessions the day prior. 

Practice 1 and 2

In the Vios Cup Autocross track, drivers start from standstill, then negotiate a quick chicane, then make a U-turn around a barrier.

After the U-turn, they pass another chicane before stopping at the same area where they started. The finish line was marked by two cones that were placed by a track marshal.

Toyota-Vios-AutocrossTo make things interesting, two autocross tracks of the same layout were placed on beside each other. That's to allow competitors to, in a way, outpace each other on the same track. 

In practice 1, Roy's previous autocross experience showed in how quickly he took to the track like a pro.  

As a total novice, my runs looked nowhere near as promising. In my first run, I went too fast through the chicane, which I thought can be executed faster with trail braking. Turns out, the chicane was too tight for that maneuver.

In my second run, I took a U-turn earlier than the chicane, which is considered going off the track

Toyota-Vios-AutocrossDoing so didn't please autocross champion Danny Santiago who provided intuition. During lunch break, he, and autocross champ Milo Rivera (above), advised me (and other directionally-challenged participants) to memorize what is a simple track. 

With the track memorized, my second practice felt much quicker. I also tried to smoothen my acceleration and braking of the Vios autocross car, and tried my best to stay within the racing lines

As the track marshals timed the practice 2 runs, Roy logged in an impressive time of around 36 seconds.


In the qualifying round, only the eight fastest among the 12 media contenders can enter the semi-finals (the same rule applied to the influencers). The objective was to set the fastest lap in two timed runs. 

And so Roy and I were off to set the fastest lap. As I was about to finish my first lap, I found that the aforementioned two cones were not where they should be! I slowed the Vios to a crawl while the marshals placed those cones. 

Toyota-Vios-AutocrossDespite that blunder, the best time I managed was around a dismal 42 seconds. Meanwhile, Roy missed a chicane, which resulted in his time not being recorded (DNQ). 

So, with both shock and amusement, I learned that my lap time got me on eight place--and qualified me to enter the semi-finals. From seventh to pole, the other motoring journalists' times ranged from 37 to 33 seconds. 


Here, the fastest drivers will be narrowed to just four, who will then enter the finals.

Despite my knowing that trying to beat 37 to 33 seconds bordered on the impossible, I managed a time of roughly 37 seconds. However, a two-second penalty was added because I clipped a barrier during the U-turn. 

Toyota-Vios-AutocrossThe four drivers who got into the finals were: Jose Altoveros (Autoindustriya), Ian Magbanua (Top Gear Philippines), Inigo Roces (Manila Bulletin), and Enzo De Los Reyes (WheelsPH). 


Only three drivers in each category were named autocross winners. 

In the Media category, Altoveros, Magbanua, and Roces won first, second, and third, respectively. Actor Alex Diaz won the Celebrities and Influencers Class, followed by TV star John Manalo, and social media influencer Jules Aquino.

Toyota-Vios-AutocrossCould "Team Carbay" make it to the finals in the next Autocross tilt? Catch the next leg of the TGR Vios Cup on September 11.  

Photos from Toyota Motor Philippines, Dylan Afuang, Roy Robles

Also read:

CVT-equipped Toyota Vios used in TGR Autocross Challenge

New and seasoned racers dominate season kicker of 2021 TGR Vios Cup

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