This author; Maricar Parco, BMW PH president; Levi Laus, BMW Premier Cars; STV’s Jenny Bleza and BMW Phils’ Karl Magsuci
A hot start for 2017 Vios Cup
MOTORING TODAY - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - May 3, 2017 - 12:00am

A total of 69 race lovers, eight of them celebrities, trooped to the Clark International Speedway last Friday and Saturday in what is considered as the biggest event in the history of Philippine motorsports—the Vios Cup.

In his speech during the opening of the 4th season of the series, Satoru Suzuki, president of Toyota Motor Philippines remarked, ”Waku-doki or “heart-racing fun” is best communicated through the exciting world of motorsports! Using the Vios, the locally manufactured car not only prides its fun features but also its qualities that has consistently made it the best-selling vehicle in the country.”

Despite the scourging heat in most parts of central Luzon, where the former US airbase is located, the motorsports enthusiasts braved the sweat just to glimpse celebrities or cheer their friends or watch one of the most popular circuit races in the country.

Celebrities who participated in last year’s series who ran again include Jericho Rosales, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Fabio Ide.

The new celebrity racers are Aubrey Miles, Gretchen Ho, Ella Cruz, Dominic Roque and Jake Cuenca.

In the Rota Celebrity Class’ Round 1, Fabio Ide led the podium finishers while Dominic Roque topped the class in Round 2.

Other Round 1 top of podium finishers include Don Vic Portugal of the Toyota San Pablo Team in the Rota Promotional Class, Tonton Ramos of Toyota San Fernando in the Bridgestone Sporting Class and Daniel Miranda of Obengers Team lead the Total Super Sporting Class.

In Round 2, Rex Diwa of Toyota Isabela topped the Rota Promotional Class, Toyota Cebu’s Lord Seno won the Bridgestone Sporting Class while Daniel Miranda of Obengers Team registered a back-to-back win.

The Vios Cup returns to the Clark International Speedway for its 2nd leg on June 10 to 11 for another exciting race.

Sunshine TV shall have a special feature of the Vios Cup in one of the future episodes of Auto Focus. And we’ll have it on its website, too. Watch for it.


A leisure trip with the BMW X1

BMW Philippines hosted select members of the motoring media, this writer included, to a travel experience with the latest iteration of the BMW X1 in an exclusive city-to-sea luxury drive. The lifestyle experience that spanned the streets of Manila and the back roads of the North aimed to feature the model’s efficiency, driving dynamics, flexibility for cargo space, and interior comfort.

The experience began in AutoAllee BMW in Quezon City where we had a scrumptious breakfast and a brief introduction to the route to the Northern destinations.

A short pitstop was made at the BMW San Fernando dealership owned and operated by multi-brand auto industry exponent, Mr. Levi Laus for some refreshments and coffee.

After a short but warm welcome speech from Levi, we embarked on a journey to Pradera Verde, a recently developed recreational facility in Lubao, Pampanga with a vast green field spanning 315 hectares and a wakeboard park.

En route, all invited journalists were reminded to explore some of the BMW X1’s driving modes, including the renowned BMW iDrive System, which was loaded with a music playlist that was pre-determined with the help of the journalists themselves along with a number of lifestyle selections, such as meal and activity preferences that were meant to enable guests to customize their drive and travel with ease.

At the scenic destination, the participants were put to their first challenge, which required navigating drones. Fusing accuracy and creativity, guests were delighted to try their hand at taking the best photo of the parked BMW X1s then landing the drones on specific markers on Pradera Verde’s helipads. The challenge required precision and stability – features highlighted in the BMW X1 that aim to deliver the ultimate driving pleasure.

Following the activity, the motoring media practitioners were treated to a hefty picnic-themed lunch and were sent to continue their drive to a picturesque seaside haven. One of BMW’s successful Sports Activity Vehicles, the BMW X1 cruised through another hour of driving while treating its drivers and passengers alike to comfort and a sense of thrill.           

The newly opened ACEA Subic Bay, built with a private beachfront access, rejuvenated guests upon their arrival with refreshments and a breathtaking view of the ocean. Here, the teams were challenged a second time. This time, they were each given a chance to guess the number of specific items packed inside the BMW X1 parked by the beach of ACEA Subic Bay. The activity featured the BMW X1’s expansive boot space that pushed the total usable room up to 505 liters, teams had a bit of a time figuring out their answers and wondering just how many coolers, golf bags, and luggage items were actually inside the vehicle.

The exciting activity was followed by a relaxing sunset yacht cruise that took the media participants around Subic Bay and through a route that overlooked the Mayangga and Snake Islands. Experiencing the sea breeze over delicious cocktails and champagne was the perfect toast to the day’s drive before an exquisite beachfront dinner.

The two-day event ended with a flavorsome feast in Subic’s famous Meat Plus Café before heading back home to Manila.

For BMW Philippines the exclusive BMW X1 getaway was conceived to indulged the motoring media to an unforgettable experience, which would prove that adventures aren’t often only about the destination, sometimes, it’s about the drive.

“From feeling the precision in its driving dynamics to discovering the expansive boot space that it offers, each challenge was closely tied to the kind of experience that the BMW X1 gives its driver and passengers,” said BMW Philippines’ lovely lady president Ms. Maricar Parco. “It was our great pleasure to host this two-day drive, which we hope would change everything our guests know and expect from a Sports Activity Vehicle. We look forward to hosting more driving experiences that showcase what Sheer Driving Pleasure is truly about”


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For all aspects of motoring like transportation as well as traffic management issues and concerns, vehicle care and maintenance tips, road safety, motorsports, etc., try logging on

For anything about the automobile like car reviews and head-to-head comparisons of current models and the latest in the auto industry try    

Happy Motoring!!!

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