2020 was a quiet year for motorsport, both locally and internationally. Thankfully, it didn't take long for racing to restart. Well, that is the case elsewhere in the world. As early as July 2020, Formula 1 and MotoGP resumed in Europe, albeit without spectators. It's the same case with Japan's Super GT races.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the motorsport industry in the Philippines. Since March of 2020, no motorsport events were held locally. While private track days are now allowed, we have yet to see events such as the Toyota Vios Racing Festival (VRF) or the various endurance races and grid races to make a comeback. But, that all changes very soon.
The Automobile Association of the Philippines Motorsports Department (AAP Motorsports) announced that they will allow sanctioned motorsport events to resume in the remainder of 2021.
“AAP Motorsports is convinced that the decline of the pandemic will continue given the increasing amount of vaccinations and safety protocols regularly practiced by all citizens and that it may already be an opportune time to hold motorsport events moving forward,” the company said in a statement.
According to AAP Motorsports, the Philippine government’s IATF currently allows “non-contact sports in outdoor” in GCQ areas. With that, they will accept applications and sanction motorsports events in GCQ and MGCQ areas. All events sanctioned by the AAP in GCQ and MGCQ venues must still observe IATF mandated safety protocols. These include the wearing of face masks and shields, social distancing, and reduced spectator capacity.
For reference, Clark International Speedway (CIS) in Clark, Pampanga, and Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) in Rosario, Batangas are already under MGCQ and GCQ, respectively.
The AAP initially intended to restart the motorsport industry as early as March this year. However, the spike in cases following the Lenten season prevented them from doing so. Thankfully, we won't have to wait long before racing resumes on the track.
As early as next month, the Kalayaan Cup endurance race is scheduled from June 11 to 12. Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Philippines already confirmed that the VRF will take place in July. Expect to see karting series to resume both at CIS and Carmona as well.