Cars 3 is just around the corner. The Pixar franchise’s third outing pits fan favorite Lightning McQueen against a host of new, faster, and younger cars like the upstart Jackson Storm. Edged out technologically, McQueen must train his wheels off just to survive against retirement.

To celebrate the movie’s launch, Disney is bringing out the racing legend himself for its adoring fans. During the movie’s run in cinemas, a life-size replica of Lightning McQueen will be on display at SM North EDSA The Block Atrium. The display will be accompanied by stalls carrying Cars 3 merchandise, from Globe, and from Lego.

New Cars 3 merchandise

Celebrity racer Matteo Guidicelli was present at the replica’s unveiling. Having watched the movie prior to its early screening, Guidicelli extols the family-friendly film for its parallels with his own career as a racer.

Currently, Guidicelli has already opened a new chapter in his life, leaving his professional racing career for the meantime. He hosts the Philstar TV motoring show Wheels. “Watching films like [Cars 3] lets me relive my racing memories,” says Guidicelli.

Celebrity racer Matteo Guidicelli

He had nothing but praise for the Cars franchise’s newest outing. “The movie’s really cool. I did not expect it to be this awesome. It has so much lessons that you’re going to take home,” he said.

“There’s a lot of empowerment. There’s a lot of believing in yourself.”

Cars 3 opens across Philippine cinemas nationwide starting July 26.