E-racing veteran Luis Moreno outclassed several real-life professional race car drivers in the first-round finals of the Sporting Class of the Toyota GR Supra GT Cup Asia – Philippines which was virtually held at the famed Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
Starting 7th out of 9 racers because of the reverse grid format in the final race, Moreno slowly moved up the standings as the first five drivers, led by pole-sitter Corban Guerrero, went fender-to-fender in the first two sectors of the track.
Moreno went head-to-head with champion racecar driver Luis Gono coming into Lap 2 as they chased the dueling front pack. The young Gono eventually made a mistake at the S Curves allowing Moreno to move up to third with his Supra GT.
The 27-year old then took advantage of a penalty on Ian Soquilla at the end of Lap 2 to get up to second place. He then made a brave move in Lap 3 on the inside line of the Dunlop Curve against Guerrero to permanently hold on to the lead until the end of the action-packed six-lap race.
Building on a string of successive fastest laps, Moreno pulled away from the drama behind to take maximum championship points along with a fastest lap bonus. Mark Elman took second place and Corban Guerrero, who drove using only a PlayStation console controller, took the remaining spot on the podium.
“I feel relieved and happy as all the uncertainties before the actual races are over with,” shared the Legion of Racers team driver. “There were plenty of other drivers who I consider to be strong in this series and with the first race done, I have a better idea of who to watch out for in the season. I am very happy for the win though.”
An equally dramatic Promotional Class race saw six drivers tightly competing against each other for a whole lap. With the fastest drivers coming from the semi-final heats starting from the back of the pack, racing incidents became an eventuality.
Peter Amadeus Lo, Jether Miole and Lance Guballa all figured in bumper-to-bumper contact through the second lap making the racing order fluid until the final stages of the race.
A last lap collision in the battle for 4th between Lo and Miole, sealed the deal for Gab Señires who pulled away from the tight battle at the back to finish on top of the Promotional Class. Lance Padilla landed in second and Lance Guballa in third.
Championship points are earned depending on the finishing order of each finals race as the racers compete to be one of the three who will carry the Philippine flag in the Toyota GR Supra GT Cup Asia regional finals.
The next round of the one-make online sports car series will be held at the Autopolis International Racing Course in Japan and will be shown on the Toyota Motor Philippines Facebook page on August 22 and 29, at 8 in the evening.
GR Supra GT Cup Asia Philippines is TMP’s first national virtual motorsport tournament organized under Toyota’s Gazoo Racing brand. Races are held online via Gran Turismo Sport game on the PlayStation platform.
Registration for the second round will start on August 2. To register for the qualifying rounds, visit www.toyota.com.ph/gtcup. For more information and inquiries, join the official Facebook Group athttps://facebook.com/groups/680971852455112/.
Motoring and motorsports are two of Mikko’s greatest passions. Combining more than twenty years of professional automotive photography and videography experience with years of touring car racing competition, and a deep understanding of the car industry, from both the manufacturers’ and consumers’ points of view, have given him a unique and insightful perspective in the motoring beat.