- Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Akio Toyoda visited the Philippines to showcase his excellent racing skills alongside other international and local pro racers
Racing-aficionados and adrenaline-junkies were left spellbound by the two-day heart-pounding TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival (TGR Festival) at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila that had everyone screaming "I love cars!."
This motorsports event dubbed by Toyota Motor Philippines as its "greatest gathering to celebrate all things GAZOO Racing" is part of the mobility company's 35th anniversary treat to customers and fans who have shown continuous love and support for the brand throughout the years. The TGR Festival was attended by more than 6,000 audience on ground and garnered up to 2.6M livestream viewers.
Meet Akio "Morizo" Toyoda, GAZOO Racing's Maestro
Akio Toyoda, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation (who is known for his racing pseudonym Morizo), showcased his driving and drifting skills at the #TGR Festival as he demonstrated his prowess behind the wheel across various Toyota race cars.
To kick things off, Morizo wowed the crowd with his mastery of the Toyota GR Yaris WRC rally car, where he entertained the crowd with donut maneuvers. Morizo also joined the Gymkhana challenge where he drove a Toyota GR 86 which allowed the audience to witness his expertise with a GR performance car that's available for local customers. He moved through a challenging course showing off the finesse of a seasoned racer. Morizo also took lucky passengers for adrenaline-pumping rides, giving them a taste of what it's like to experience the track from the perspective of a racing master.
"I developed a car because I wanted to see the smiles of the people. You ask people and you give them what they want." Morizo believes that the best way to develop Toyota cars is by doing it on the road―driving and drifting these cars. "It's because of the smiles and the cheers that is why I'm here," he added.
Legends on and off the track
Another highlight of the event were the performances of Japanese champion racers from the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team Norihiko Katsuta and Masahiro Sasaki who were both present for the course of the two-day TGR Festival 2023. They brought along their legendary race cars Toyota WRC Yaris and Red Bull GR Corolla which conquered the rally courses of global racing events.
The transformation of the GR Yaris from the Toyota WRC Yaris led by Morizo was a remarkable feat. The Red Bull GR Corolla, on the other hand, also has a memorable page in history being remembered as the car that powered Calle Rovampella to victory in the Formula Drift Japan competition.
Of course, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing would not be complete without the participation of the country's home-grown Filipino star racers! Local racing stars Alex Perez, Luis Gono, Marlon Stockinger, and celebrity-racer Ryan Agoncillo participated in the event with TGR performance cars such as the GR Supra, GR Yaris, and GR 86. Japanese and Filipino drivers joined together as well in Gymkhana Driving Challenge with Marlon Stockinger being declared as Day 1's overall winner.
"It's loud, it's crazy, a lot of tire burning, the smells―you just feel like you're at the race track, even if we're here at Quirino Grandstand," Stockinger said.
Local racers owned the track too and ultimately showcased a clash of skills for one of the most-awaited highlights of the event―Gymkhana Time Attack and Drifting Competition. The Gymkhana Time Attack tested the competitors' agility and precision where they navigated a maze of cones and figure eights with finesse. After a fierce battle, the following winners emerged: For Day 1, the winners of the Gymkhana time attack were: Angelo Magtoto―1st place, Jason Chuang―2nd place, and Christopher Co―3rd place. For Day 2, John Erik Barrera was 1st place, Mickey Carbonell―2nd place and Matt Frederic See―3rd place for the first batch. Second batch was Andre Tan―1st place, Russel Cabrera―2nd place and Makol Pasumbal―3rd place.
In the Drifting Competition, local racers had spectators on the edge of their seats as they unleashed their horsepower and slides. Ultimately, the following took the trophies in the Drifting Competition for Day 1: Hans Jimenez―1st place, Paolo Agregado―2nd place, and Bryan Revilla―3rd place. Winners may have left tire marks on the battleground, but will for sure make an unforgettable impact on the crowd.
Non-stop thrills with live performances
Fun and excitement did not end with the exhibitions and racing competitions as the festival ground was adorned with loads of GR merchandise such as caps, shirts, jackets, and other souvenirs! Photo booths were there too for those who wanted to feel what it's like to stand at a podium finish.
There was no dull moment during the two-day TGR Festival 2023 as the crowd was treated to an electrifying lineup of live performances! From day to dawn, the festival grounds were ignited with heart-pounding sound and speed by top-notch performances of BGYO, Ely Buendia, Ben&Ben, Parokya ni Edgar, and Kamikazee.
Did you miss the live action or you're simply longing to relive the event? You can always watch the livestream at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Philippines Facebook Page or visit toyota.com.ph/gazoo for more racing updates.
Toyota Motor Corporation works to develop and manufacture innovative, safe and high-quality products and services that create happiness by providing mobility for all. We believe that true achievement comes from supporting our customers, partners, employees, and the communities in which we operate. Since our founding over 80 years ago in 1937, we have applied our Guiding Principles in pursuit of a safer, greener and more inclusive society. Today, as we transform into a mobility company developing connected, automated, shared and electrified technologies, we also remain true to our Guiding Principles and many of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to help realize an ever-better world, where everyone is free to move.
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