Perhaps one of the most qualified people to talk about the Toyota Vios Cup is Fabio Ide. Why? Simply because he’s been a part of it for all of the nine years that it has been around.
For the third and final leg of this year’s tourney, our newfound friend Fabio invited The GAME over and gave us VIP access to his paddock so that we get to see all the action up close.
The day didn’t start off well, especially for Fabio. He was involved in a rather ugly crash which saw his front left tire explode, and caused the car that crashed into him to retire from the race. Fabio, on the other hand, soldiered on and went on to finish.
“I am pissed, bro,” were the first words we were greeted with at the paddock—not the way any of us wanted to start the day, but it is what it is in the world of racing. After getting some water and changing out of his tracksuit, he caught up to us and we started exchanging pleasantries with one another.
We overheard that he was coming from another crash earlier in the week and he was still trying to get over it. But what we quickly learned about him is that he is the type of person that would rather focus on the good and avoid all the drama.
A man for the fans
Walking around Clark International Speedway (CIS) with him, you’d see that he’s an all-around good guy. He has a smile ready for fans that walk up to him to get a photo, and thoughtful greetings to practically everyone, from VIPs to the staff.
When asked what his favorite part about participating in events is, he was quick to say, “Aside from loving the adrenaline rush, I love putting on a big smile on the fans’ faces once they see me. The best feeling in the world.”
We witnessed this firsthand too. Even when he was chilling on his chair at the paddock to relax and fans would approach every five minutes or so, he would readily stand up and give them a photo, and even a kiss for some! As soon as he sat back down on his chair I just told him, “Pogi problems” to which his response was boisterous laughter.
Almost a decade-long partnership
Apart from being a big fan favorite, it was so easy to see why Toyota kept Fabio on for all nine years. He’s a great ambassador for what they are trying to do with the Vios Cup.
“The Vios cup is unique for me because only on this event do I get to feel butterflies in the stomach and (the) adrenaline rush from the beginning until the end,” he expressed.
When asked about what the tournament has given him after spending almost a decade with them he says, “The sport has given me the capability to compete at the higher level—and to something I never expected to get to do in life which is racing.”
He goes on to say that his experience with the Vios cup has opened so many doors for him in all different aspects and made him meet a lot of people he now calls friends.
A true student of the game
Being in the paddock really allowed us to see firsthand the more intimate details of what car racing is like. However, one thing that immediately stood out to us was the excellent relationship that Fabio has with his team and his coaches.
“Stu and Louis have been there from the start,” he shares. “They are my racing coaches but more than that we are friends. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Coach Stu was also visibly pleased when he saw Fabio having fun at the end of the last race which saw him finish 5th even though he started 10th. But it’s not at all just fun and games between them as Fabio also mentioned, “They push me hard to be the best and they won’t tell me what I want to hear. Every race I learn something new from them. They are the best!”
Part of the game
Inasmuch as nobody wants them to happen, crashes and other accidents are just a part of the sport. Having been involved in two of them in his recent races, Fabio shared, “If ever you do make mistakes—which is very normal—you still need to have the right attitude to apologize to whoever you might have crashed. The proper etiquette is still part of the game in this sport and (having it) can definitely help bring you places in the future. Be humble!
Dreaming of a bigger motorsports community in the PH
After having been baptized with my first exhilarating car-racing experience, this is definitely something I can get behind.
“The Vios Cup has been growing every year and it has been inspiring so many new people to the sport, especially kids. It’s the biggest motorsport event in the country.”
Ide also wishes for everyone to get a chance to experience the sport and showcase their talent and he believes that the way to get there is through a combination of support from both the private and public sectors.
“Hopefully other brands will also start organizing more events not just in Clark but all over the Philippines so we would be able to promote the sport all over the country,” he adds.
Racing has definitely been growing in the country—so much so that we have been making headlines both locally and internationally.
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Iñigo Anton, Bianca Bustamante, and Eduardo Coseteng are just some of our outstanding young individuals that are fast becoming household names for those that follow the sport. And with campaigns like the Vios Cup and the truly dedicated people behind them, that trend of growing racing in the country will likely continue to grow.
However, as far as known planning goes, it’s the 10th and last installation of the Vios Cup will take place next year. This time, The GAME is here for it and there is no way we are going to miss it.