With six races on Sunday, there was more racing action at the season finale of the Toyota Vios challenge at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival. Fans were treated to plenty of great overtaking manoeuvres plus stewards intervention of the final results. Read on for the details.
Sporting Class – Brendan Paul Anthony is Champion
Race 2 starting grid follows the finishing order of Race 1. Both Brendons thus start on the front row again after dominating Race 1, promising a very exciting final race for the class. Brendan Paul did not get a good launch as he misjudged his clutch release point, allowing Brendon Lim to the lead into turn one.
Patrick Tam meanwhile appeared secure in third position, fending off some attacks from Kenneth Koh.
At the final corner of lap two, Brendan Paul in second took a calculated risk, went into the sharp right-hander alongside Lim and the pair exchanged paintwork, which was deemed clean enough by the stewards.
Brendan Paul then never looked back, leading the race and slowly opening a gap to Lim.
The action was then left to the mid pack with Wong Chin Eeg (Round 3 winner) gaining on Ken Foo (Round 1 winner) who was defending sixth place. However, Foo was not to hold on for long as Wong made a clean dive on the inside of turn four. Foo quickly regained his composure to retake Wong on the following straight.
The race stewards subsequently deemed Foo's prior multiple blocking move on Wong as unsporting and was given a warning. To further add to his woes, his position continued to drop and even allowed racers Adzeem Eqwan from Autowerks Performance and Ricky Tan from Saksama Motorsports to advance and relegated Foo to ninth place.
The excellent wins gave Brendan Anthony of Team Dream Chaser the deserved championship title despite missing the opening leg in Penang. This young man has a very bright future ahead of him in the racing field. Brendon Lim is runner-up followed by Kenneth Koh in third.
Promotional Class – Shawn Lee is Champion
The Promotional Class may have been aimed at celebrity racers but the quality of racing did not suggest that the nine racers were not seasoned veterans. So quick was Shukri Yahya’s pole position time that he would have been on the second row of the Sporting Class had he been racing in that category.
Joining him on the front row was championship leader Shawn Lee who undoubtedly had the most wins in the series but was not second best beside Shukri.
Shawn Lee won Race 1 after a terrific move on Shukri from the inside of turn one entry with two laps to go. He was expected to break away and take another easy win in Race 2 but Shukri Yahya with a better start off the line made a terrific pass on Shawn on the opening lap in turn two while Fattah Amin made a move on Diana Danielle to rob the female celebrity of her third place at turn three.
Fattah Amin drove with amazing pace and made grounds on the beatboxer to snatch second place a lap later.
On lap five, Shawn was having a bit of trouble shifting gears and Diana seized the opportunity to pass him, forcing him into fourth place.
The race ended without further incident with Shukri Yahya taking the chequered flag, Fattah Amin in second, and female star driver Diana Danielle racking up another solid third place.
Shawn Lee is also crowned the inaugural Vios Challenge champion in the Promotional Class.
Super Sporting Class – Tengku Djan is Champion
The race stewards were particularly busy for the action-packed super sporting class. The finishing order at both chequered flags were not final until the stewards met the drivers under investigation and delivered their verdict over the incidents.
Championship leader Tengku Djan was able to start from his qualifying position of seventh on the grid after rebuilding his engine but his main rival William Ho was to start in pole position with Kenny Lee in second followed by Boy Wong and Ser Ming Hui in third and fourth place respectively.
Race 1 ended pretty much the same as the starting order. With Djan finishing in sixth position and the grid reversed for Race 2, it was an interesting prospect as it meant that Djan needed to win while William had to finish no lower than third to secure the title.
The start saw Tengku Djan and Mark Darwin make a perfect start as the lights went off, but Ser Ming Hui was not making things easy and made contact with William Ho going into turn 2.
William Ho relentlessly attacked the rear of Ser throughout lap 2 and as the chase progressed, the crowds gasped when William pushed Ser into a spin on the back straight.
Tengku Djan, opened a gap of over five seconds on lap eight over Mark Darwin to comfortably lead the race and setting the race fastest lap time of 1:16.58. However that was all the Prince of Drift could do as he could only hope for troubles by William who was running out of his view in third.
As Tengku Djan took the chequered flag with Mark Darwin in second and William Ho taking the final podium position, it was thought to be the final results.
However, the results didn’t stand as the race stewards later deemed William Ho's continuous contact with Ser Ming Hui as unsporting and was docked two positions in the results to fifth.
This ultimately cost him the championship in the Super Sporting Class as Tengku Djan was crowned the overall winner, William Ho first runner-up and two solid drives by Boy Wong meant he emerged as the second runner-up.
It was a thrilling end to a thrilling season of excellent motor racing in the inaugural Vios Challenge. The quality of racing and the intensity of racing on street circuits was something Malaysians had not experienced in a very long time.
With the prospect of new challenges in the next season, the Vios Challenge will once again be the race to watch and a weekend festival that should be attended for all fans.