Toyota announces GR Supra GT Cup Philippine champions

Published October 5, 2020, 5:45 PM

by Inigo Roces

From left: GR Supra GT Cup Asia Team Philippines driver, Lance Padilla; Toyota Motor Philippines president, Atsuhiro Okamoto; Jose Altoveros, and Terence Lallave.

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has found the fastest Filipino esports racers to represent the country in the GR Supra GT Cup Asia.  

Starting a nationwide call for racers  last June, Toyota announced the launch of its first ever e-motorsports program with the goal of finding the country’s top racers to compete in the international virtual racing scene.

With hundreds of participants, three rounds of virtually driving the Toyota GR Supra on the world’s most popular racing circuits helped determine the fastest and most consistent drivers in the country.

Three players emerged to become the country’s worthy flag-bearers. They are Terence Lallave, Johann Lance Padilla, and Jose Luis Altoveros — the three national champions of GR Supra GT Cup Asia Philippines.

 Lallave is a 35-year-old businessman and social media influencer from Quezon City. He earned his slot in the Asian regionals by winning the Sporting Class. Coming in third during the second round, his performance during the final round resulted in a surprise victory, surpassing the early frontrunners.

“I’m actually surprised that I am here right now and I’ll be the one representing the Philippines,” said Lallave. “I’m very thankful to Toyota for bringing this opportunity because we could basically show what Filipinos can do in E-sports races. And it is a very good avenue for sim racing and e-sports here in the Philippines to grow.”

 The youngest among the three, 24-year-old aircraft mechanic and businessman, Padilla, meanwhile was a consistent podium finisher in the initial rounds but was never in first place. This Bacoor, Cavite racer’s overall score after Round 3 however was enough to have him leading the points of the Promotional Class, making him the champion.

 “I joined GR Supra GT Cup Asia Philippines because I think this is the chance I’ve been waiting for,” said Padilla. “Just last year, I told myself that Gran Turismo will lead me to places by playing and racing in it. When Toyota posted about this event that may lead to representing our country, I joined immediately.”

 25-year-old writer and photographer from Quezon City, Altoveros, is no stranger to TMP’s motorsports activities, having won in the 2019 Vios Racing Festival’s Autocross Challenge. Entering the Media and Celebrity class, Altoveros gets to be in the position to share both his online and offline racing expertise. He is now in constant communication with his fellow champions.

“Aside from planning, I guess the only thing we can do is just to keep on practicing at home and race together,” said Altoveros. “At the end of the day, it is a team race. Even if there’s just one winner, we’re all representing the Philippines and it doesn’t matter who gets to the top as long as we raise the Philippine flag in the tournament.”

Aside from the Regional-bound Lallave, Padilla, and Altoveros, TMP also recognized the winner for the Celebrity/Influencer class Reph Bangsil, and potential future PH champion, Junior Class winner, Rusell Cabrera.

“We are very thankful for the passion and enthusiasm that Filipino gamers and e-motorsports fans have shown during the course of our inaugural GR Supra GT Cup Asia Philippines,” said Sherwin Chualim, First Vice President for Vehicle Sales Operations of TMP. “We expect our champions to do their best to represent us well in the Asian Regional Round. We will continuously support them, and hopefully, their success inspires a lot more Filipino racers to pursue this sport that we really can excel in.”

“Because of the success of the first season, we will seriously consider staging another tournament in the future,” Chualim added.

The Asian Regional Round of the GR Supra GT Cup Asia hosted by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific and Toyota Gazoo Racing will be streamed on October 25, 2020 via TMP’s official Facebook page.