Women & 'waku-doki:' Ladies lighting up the track at the 2021 GR Racing Vios Cup Autocross

Women & 'waku-doki:' Ladies lighting up the track at the 2021 GR Racing Vios Cup Autocross

The beauty of racing and car culture is that, despite the prevailing thought that it’s a man’s world, women have actually played a critical role in building it.

From the 1901 Paris-Berlin Race to the pre-World War II 24 Hour of Le Mans, and until in the present-day Indy Grand Prix where female engineers are also part of the race victories. Car racing is inclusive and Toyota’s  waku-doki initiative. which loosely translates to “heart pumping, adrenaline racing” exemplifies this even further. That feeling and sensation is universal.

The recently held 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup Autocross Challenge featured such a diverse cast of powerful women — all leaders in their respective fields. There was a mix of influencers, gamers, photographers, and even beauty queens. We’ll be featuring six of these women who not only attacked the course with aggressiveness and precision but have also influenced the spirit of waku-doki by letting all our hearts pump just a little bit faster. The Autocross is no easy feat, with its slalom course and sharp turns, it might be even more difficult than racing through long straights and bigger curves in the circuit.

Bianca Yao

Bianca Yao Vios Cup
Bianca Yao, one of the country’s pioneering game streamers and content creators, has admitted that it had always been her dream to join the Vios Cup since its inception. Being tapped to join the competition was, of course, that dream coming true. Her preparations focused on learning the ropes of the autocross challenge.


Lexi Mendiola

Lexi Mendi Vios Cup
No-nonsense actress and social media darling Lexi Mendiola quickly responded to the call of speed. Gaining popularity with her stylish looks and OOTDs with a balance of honesty, her well-received unaltered image of herself proved a point that true beauty is beyond what we all see.

Jacq Yu

Jacq Yu Vios Cup

Long-time model and on-screen personality Jacq Yu also took on the challenge in a heartbeat. Being a fan of the race itself, she has set herself in the mindset of the pro driver that never backs out. She’s out to prove that looks could kill and so can her skills.

"I got excited during the practice and, of course, the race itself. And when I got inside the racing car, I think that’s the most thrilling thing that happened. And of course, I got to meet cool and awesome new people. That was fun!" she shared.

"The greatest takeaway for me is that always enjoy the process of whatever it is you’re doing. Despite of the pandemic, we get to still do things that are exciting and make the most of it. Always keep pushing past your comfort zone and challenge yourself."


Winwyn MarquezWinwyn Marquez Vios Cup


One of the three beauty queens joining in the competition is Winwyn Marquez, a candidate of the prestigious Binibining Pilipinas 2015, Miss World Philippines 2017, and crown victor of the Reina Hispano-Americana also in 2017. It would have been a regret for her to say no to the competition. Winwyn is also a Marine reservist and is proud to have completed the program.

Laura Lehmann

Laura Lehmann Vios Cup
Miss World Philippines 2017 titleholder Laura Lehmann also joins the party. With a strong sports know-how from being a Philippine Softball Team player to becoming a courtside reporter for collegiate basketball. Currently, she’s been hosting one of the top sports channels in the Philippines delivering news and sharing her two cents on sporting events

"It’s a timed competition so there’s that hunger inside of you to drive the fastest and beat out your opponent! The competitiveness made me feel like I was playing varsity in high school again, so it was so nostalgic! As adults we don’t really get as many chances to engage in sporting activities anymore… so this was such a fun experience," she said.

How would she apply the principle of “pushing limits for the better” in your life? "I guess just always reminding myself that it’s okay to go out of my comfort zone sometimes. If we do, we find the greatest things! Fear stops us from gaining a lot of good things."


Carla Lizardo

Carla Lizardo Vios CupAnother beauty from the catwalk is Mutya ng Pilipinas Intercontinental 2010, Carla Lizardo, who also happens to be a game streamer, crushing enemies in virtual gunfights. Carla also ventured into hosting both for television and podcasting (alongside fellow pageant queens Pia Wurtzbach and Bianca Guidotti).

How did it feel joining Vios Cup Autocross Challenge? "All I felt was excitement leading up to the first leg of the Autocross Challenge! I've been wanting to take part in the Vios Cup for quite a while now, so I was super happy to get the chance to experience it. Now I can say that I've really caught the racing bug," she admitted.

"I wish I got to do it sooner! When I was a kid, my parents would take me to the track to watch a family friend race. I always found the sport so cool, but I never thought I would get the opportunity to be the one on the driver's seat. I would definitely want to keep doing this in the future!"

These women are just about to begin their thrilling journey in this year’s edition of the Vios Cup. They are the testament of inspiration, empowerment, and motivation, jumping into the action with no regrets, and most of all, being a queen in their own way. Catch them and more of the Autocross Challenge participants in the upcoming legs of the 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup in October and in November 2021. To know more about the competition, follow Toyota Motor Philippines and Toyota Gazoo Racing Philippines on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or visit the official website toyota.com.ph/gazooracing.

Photos from Toyota Motor Philippines

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