4 new champions crowned in action-packed Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Season 6 finale


4 new champions crowned in action-packed Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Season 6 finale

Some 10,000 spectators were in for a treat last weekend at the Sepang International Circuit as the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival served plenty of good fun on the festival grounds as well as on track, where drivers race their way to the top of Toyota Gazoo Racing (GR) Vios Challenge Season 6 Round 3 this year.

Toyota GR Vios Challenge Season 6 finale showcased the ability of Toyota Vios in full race trim, leaving spectators as well as 4 million online viewers in awe as they watched racers in the Super Sporting Class, Sporting Class, Rookie Class, and Promotional Class compete for the podium.

Four new champions in GR Vios Challenge were crowned and celebrated at the end of the festival, but not without intense action on-track beforehand as various teams competed with one another in their respective classes.

Super Sporting Class

The Super Sporting Class’ race for elite and professional drivers saw Naquib Azlan (Axle Sports) dominating the race, finishing ahead of Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel (Prima Pearl TD Racing) and Putera Adam (Laser Motor Racing) in Race 1 on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Naquib Azlan’s leading position was compromised by a 5-second penalty during a post-race review which relegated him to third place.

The battle for the Overall Super Sporting championship in Race 2 witnessed Eddie Lew (Laser Motor Racing) maintaining a consistent lead position with Mitchell Cheah (Prima Pearl TD Racing) in pursuit and Putera a distant fourth place and being unable to get past Cheah. Cheah finished just two points ahead of Putera, winning the prize money of RM 70,000.

Sporting Class

The Sporting Class race featuring amateur drivers, on the other hand, had probably the most nerve-wrecking race of the day as it was red-flagged in Lap 13 due to an incident on track during Race 1 on Saturday. After resuming behind the safety car with two laps remaining, Kenneth Koh (Panglima City Racing Team) claimed victory while James Liam Russell (Axle Sports) came second.

Muhammad Amirul Haikal’s (Evergreen Motorsports) third position was compromised due to a post-race penalty, pushing Abdul Miqail (23 Motors) up to claim the spot.

Race 2 on Sunday witnessed Abdul Migail (23 Motors) shined in the 20-lap race, finishing an astounding 8.7 seconds ahead of James Russell (Axle Sports), and with Bradley Benedict Anthony (Crestmax Motorsport) in third position but with enough points to secure his first ever Sporting Class overall championship and prize money of RM 50,000.

Rookie Class

The young drivers in Rookie Class witnessed the shining talent in karter Ariff Azmi who dominated Race 1 on Saturday, ahead of Nazmir Azlan in second place and Elson Lew in third.

In Race 2, simulator racer Elson Lew won ahead of karter Ariff Azmi with another simulator racer Nazmir Azlan finishing third. That would have given Lew a one-point advantage and just enough to take the overall Rookie Class championship, but a post-race penalty denied him the glory and he was subsequently handed a two-position penalty.

That meant that Ariff was awarded the race victory and 20 full points to take his total tally to 89 points. He is also the first karter to win the Rookie Class since the GAZOO Young Talent Development Program was started in 2021 whereby the first two champions were simulator racers.

Promotional Class

The Promotional Class for celebrities saw TV host Ezzrin Loy reaching the finish line in first place ahead of actor Zizan Razak, followed by Ahirine Ahirudin in third place as Race 1 on Saturday concluded.

Race 2 on the following day was almost a repeat of race 1's results, but with television host and Hot FM radio presenter Imran Aqil finishing third. Zizan who came second in Race 2 had an unassailable lead in the point standings, making him the overall champion in the Promotional Class.

In introducing the third-generation Toyota Vios to the racing track driven by the celeb racers, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd President Datuk Ravindran K. said the all-new G Vios Challenge race car will be used in the 3 main classes of racing: Super Sporting; Sporting; and Promotional; from 2024 to 2027.

Motorsports for all

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival truly is a good way to lift the spirits and introduce the world of motorsport to the masses. According to UMW Toyota Motor, the finale has been curated as a special thank you and to celebrate all their fans who have been instrumental in the continued success of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival.

"The format of a one-make series will be retained and further enhanced moving forward. This is in keeping with our objective to not only make the racing fair and dependent on skill, but to also make motorsports more accessible in terms of cost to a greater pool of teams, racers, and enthusiasts. This also forms the very foundation of our efforts to attract and help nurture young talent," said Datuk Ravindran, adding that efforts will be also stepped up to enhance greater awareness and appreciation for Malaysian motorsports.

UMW Toyota awarded for promoting motorsports

In honouring UMW Toyota's efforts in promoting motorsports to the masses, Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) presented an award to the company that also recognised UMW Toyota's contributions towards the development of young and future motorsports talent.

The award was presented to UMW Toyota Motor president Datuk Ravindran K. by MAM president Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir at the end of races.

Also read: UMW Toyota Motor honored for contribution to Malaysian motorsports

Also read: Catch the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival, GR Vios Challenge this weekend - free entry to concerts and festivities

Throughout the weekend, fans and visitors enjoyed a myriad of activities and attractions including the Tempatan Fest as well as energetic concerts from popular local groups such as OAG and 16 Baris.