Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup Asia 2023: PH’s Luis Moreno Bags 2nd place in final

The Toyota GAZOO Racing (GR) GT Cup Asia 2023 played out across three heart-thumping races on Sunday, 24 September 2023. E-motorsports enthusiasts saw 15 local qualifiers – from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – pit their driving skills, dexterity, and wits against one another, as they battled for the regional championship title and a spot in the Global Finals.

Toyota GR GT Cup Asia Regional Finals 2023

This year’s Toyota GR GT Cup Asia saw a change in race format where all regional finalists participated in a total of three races on PlayStation®’s “Gran Turismo 7”. The first race played on Mount Panorama with GT Supra Gr.4 cars, began with a 5-minute time attack as a qualifying round to determine grid positions, followed by a 15-minute race. The second race on the Tokyo Expressway – East Clockwise track was played with Race 1’s grid positions reversed using GR Corolla cars over a 25-minute race time. The third and final race, played on the legendary Spa Francorchamps racetrack with GR010 Hybrid Hypercars, once again began with a 5-minute time attack qualifying round, before concluding with a 35-minute race amidst dynamic weather. The championship was determined from cumulative points earned through finishing positions in all three races, the first five positions in qualifying rounds, and bonus points for the fastest laps in each of the three races. At the end of the competition, the two highest-scoring finalists will proceed to the Global Finals, slated for November in Barcelona, Spain. 

Indonesia’s Andika Rama came out tops with a total of 65 points throughout the competition. Slow and steady won Rama the race, with the seasoned racer clocking 4th and 5th places in Race 1 and 2 before boldly claiming pole position in Race 3 by maximizing his time on track against increasingly bad weather. The Philippines’ Luis Moreno similarly bided his time, securing 6th and 4th place in earlier races before scorching to pole position in Race 3’s qualifying round, and maintaining his podium spot in the race to come out overall second in the championship with 52 points. Singapore’s Fadtris Isa and Malaysia’s Dhanesh Wigneswaran also performed remarkably, although several misjudgments in weather and pitting put them further down on the championship table.

“I knew that my pace in the final race was not as good as Luis and Dhanesh, so even though it started to rain, the wetness on the track was low, I gambled on another two laps with hard tires while everyone went to pit. I tried to manage my pace after pitting, and it paid off,” Rama recounted elatedly. “I’m thankful to my family, friends, and fans who are here watching me live or online at home, and of course grateful to Toyota Indonesia for supporting us all the way. I look forward to racing with Luis at the Global Finals against our Italian and Japanese peers.”

Aside from the revised race format keeping things fresh for spectators, the fourth season of the GR GT Cup Asia in 2023 continues to underscore Toyota’s commitment to making e-motorsports accessible across generations, by enabling racing enthusiasts from around the region to experience the thrill and joy of competitive racing. Fans and participants were also treated to a visual feast of fascinating livery designs inspired by each participating country’s national colors.  

“We are thrilled to see strong, continued support for the fourth edition of the Toyota GAZOO Racing GT Cup Asia. All racers displayed exceptional skills that were spectacularly demonstrated, even across the various racing conditions. We hope that GR Asia brought a thrilling evening of entertainment to E-motorsports fans around the region, particularly with our all-new race format and colorful livery designs displayed throughout the competition,” said Jaja Ishibashi, General Manager at Toyota Motor Asia Pacific. “My heartiest congratulations to all racers for putting up a wonderful race today, and all the best to Andika Rama and Luis Moreno for the upcoming Global Finals.”

Andika Rama and Luis Moreno will represent Asia and race against some of the world’s best e-Motorsport racers in the TGR GT Global Finals slated for November.

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) shares its pride as it congratulates Luis Moreno and the rest of Team Philippines who all worked hard in the GT Cup Asia Finals 2023. 

“It is with great pride and joy that we congratulate Luis Moreno for his breathtaking second-place finish at the TGR GT Cup Asia, earning the Philippines one of the two Asian spots in the GR GT Cup Global Finals,” said Danny Cruz, TMP First Vice President for Vehicle Sales Operations. “This is truly an unforgettable milestone for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Philippines family that has always championed Filipinos’ world-class skills and passion for e-motorsports.”

“Luis, along with his Toyota Philippines teammates Russel Reyes and Matthew Ang, have been great examples of our amazing local sim-racing talent. We look forward to seeing them achieve greater things in the future, especially Luis who has our full support as he carries our flag in the world finals in Barcelona this November,” Cruz added.

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo's first word was probably "Car", and this has developed into a personal passion that has consumed his professional life as well.

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