The recent Toyota GR Vios Cup, showed us that we could go back to physical events as long as people are disciplined and respect each other’s well-being.
Let’s face it, although we are speeding up efforts to get everyone vaccinated, we still have a live pandemic happening. While we are slowly easing out of the restrictions, other bigger and more developed countries are once again going on lockdown. We have to keep on this road of recovery so our economy will pick up.
Toyota Motor Philippines proved why it’s a market leader and a trailblazer by holding the first big physical event in the industry. Following strictest protocols and getting the best practices from races abroad, we were able to stage the Vios Cup with several adjustments.
First, the number of people allowed in the race track was from the usual 10,000 down to less than 600. Organizers, racers, crew, and guests had to be pre-registered, tested, and stay in designated areas. No spectators were allowed, but the race was broadcast on FB Live.
To follow social distancing, all meetings, such as drivers’ briefing, were done in Zoom. Not too many air-conditioned rooms were used, and all common areas were disinfected regularly.
According to JP Tuason Racing CEO and race organizer, “I believe that moving forward concentrating on online streaming will be the way to go for motorsports events. The virus is not going away soon, so the idea is to bring the races to the people now, and I believe the people are online.”
When asked what are the challenges we face? Of course, discipline. Motorsports is one of the easier sports to minimize contact at because teams can bubble in the paddocks, and the drivers are socially distant in their cars. Races must be organized well and adhering to protocols to ensure that participants feel safe. Once this can be accomplished, then we can ensure that we can continue this new normal.
So it all boils down to us. If we want freedom, it comes with a price. The question is, are you willing to pay for it?
(The author is co-founder and VP for Business Development/Marketing of Tuason Racing)