Serdang, Selangor 25, November 2017. As unpredictable as the weather was in MAEPS, Selangor where the Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) Racing Festival was held, the Vios Challenge practice and race sessions today yielded even more surprises as racers made the most of the wide and fast circuit design to maximize the performance of their race cars.
In the prestigious Super Sporting Category, championship leader and Prince of Drift Tengku Djan was expected to have an easy weekend as he had topped the time sheets in all early practice sessions but when it mattered during qualifying, he clipped the inside of Turn 1 in his pursuit of the younger Mark Darwin, destroying the front wheel and putting him out of the rest of the qualifying session.
He however managed a front-row start for the race on Sunday as he had done enough to outgun William Ho to secure his place beside Darwin who comfortably earned pole position on his third lap. “I was quite comfortable. In fact, I think I was too comfortable and tried to just stay calm and keep away from the walls. The team did a great job to give me a car that gave me a lot of confidence straight off so a big thanks to them,” said Mark Darwin who will be representing Malaysia in the up-coming Thailand Super Endurance 600 Minute race in a Toyota Altis.
In the Sporting Category, surprises continued as the Dream Chaser Team celebrated its second pole position with new-comer Brendan Paul Anthony putting his car in pole ahead of Brendon Lim of Tedco Racing in the qualifying session. Replacement driver and Editor of Zerotohundred.com Tom Goh was brought in to replace Kenny Lee whose licence was recently upgraded, preventing him from participating in the Vios Challenge. Tom rewarded the team with a brilliant third place on the grid but an unfortunate impact during a jump punctured his sump and he was unable to replace it in time for the first race later in the day.
The race saw Dreamchaser’s Brendan open a gap to his chasers namely Lim while the rest of the peloton fought for the final podium position. The pack included Patrick Tam, Ken Foo, Kenneth Koh, Frederick Soo and Jackson Tan who battled furiously by mid race. Ken made a great run out of the slow Turn 16 to pass Koh but the pair touched into Turn 1, putting Foo into a half spin. The resulting melee allowed Patrick to recover and take the final spot on the podium.
“I am very happy to win despite this being my first outing in the Vios Challenge. I am very happy to win and hope to continue the momentum in Round 2,” said Brendan who recently moved into saloon car racing from go-karting.
In the Promotional Class, beatboxer Shawn Lee who had taken charge in qualifying led the pack away on a damp circuit thanks to his quickest qualifying time despite carrying a 40kg ballast for winning in Batu Kawan. Shukri Yahaya was breathing down Shawn’s neck from his second position for the first half of the race, but Shawn managed to widen the gap between him and Shukri to seal his third successive win.
The battles were further down the field where Fattah Amin and Danny Koo had their battle for third position while Geraldine Gan had her mirrors full of Venice Min’s No. 16 car. Diana Danielle enjoyed her battle with UMW Toyota Motor’s Deputy Chairman Akio Takeyama for 5th position but she managed to make a bold move in the back section of the circuit to claim that spot.
“It was a very exciting race and I am impressed with the level of competitiveness of all the drivers today. I am looking forward to more racing action tomorrow,” said Takeyama.
The Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) Racing Festival continues on Sunday with a full day of activities and sporting action. There will be a drift performance by World Champion drift drivers Masato Kawabata and Hideyuki Fujino who will be exhibiting their precision drift skills on the main circuit.
There will also be lots of celebrity appearances throughout the day so fans should not miss the opportunity to come and enjoy the day with them. Over 20 selected food trucks will be providing all the hungry visitors with an array of delectable offerings and there will be great prizes to be won including a Toyota Vios SE that is up for grabs to the lucky visitor.
Entrance is free and the activities begin at 10am and ends at 8pm. For a full listing of activities, visit the Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia website, fb or insta.