It’s finally here! The first Vios Challenge in Malaysia will be run this Saturday and Sunday at the Batu Kawan Stadium Complex in Penang (mainland side near the second bridge). In this inaugural race, every one of the 40 drivers will be in a Toyota Vios specially prepared for the event. All the cars have been prepared in exactly the same way so there will be no technical advantage and it will be all about driving skills.
The Vios Challenge will have three categories – Sporting Category, where the main racers will compete; Super Sporting Category for those who have achieved wins in previous races; and the Promotional Category for invited celebrities.
In the Sporting and Super Sporting Categories, some of the country’s top racing drivers will compete. These top drivers include Boy Wong, Kenny Lee, James Veerapan, Syafiq Ali, Mark Darwin, Mitchel Cheah, Rocky Seow, Akina Teo and Prince of Drift Tengku Djan Ley. As mentioned earlier, all the cars have the same performance levels so expect some close racing as drivers try to find ways past each other.
The Promotional Category will see celebrity drivers Fattah Amin, Shukri Yahaya, Diana Danielle, Janna Nick, Geraldine Gan, Danny Koo, Venice Min and Shawn Lee battling it out for glory. As most of them have not raced competitively before, they were sent to the Vios Challenge Racing School where professional trainers taught them the fundamentals of racing, advanced car handling techniques and most importantly, safety protocols.
The Vios Challenge is the highlight of the weekend’s Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) Racing Festival. Expect to smell burning rubber and hear the sounds of engines revving emanate throughout the weekend as the event will also feature lots of drift action in the Car Show zone.
Out to thrill the fans too will be Japan’s D1 Drift Champion and Drift Muscle Champion Masato Kawabata and Hideyuki Fujino, respectively. Invited specially by Gold Sponsor Toyo Tires, the pair will show off the skills that made them champions in their home country with some awesome drift moves using the Toyota 86. Kawabata currently holds the Guinness World Record for the highest speed drift ever recorded at 304.96 km/h
Toyota Owners’ Club members will be given the opportunity to learn drift skills and spectators will be treated to choreographed drift shows performed using various Toyota models.
For the younger visitors, there will be lots of activities to keep them entertained including dance performances, cheerleading performances, bands, games and special guest appearances for them to take photos with. For celebrity hunters, this is definitely the event to be at as there will be lots of fan engagement activities to get up close with some of Malaysia’s top celebrities.
There will be opportunities throughout the weekend to get up close with the eight Vios Challenge racing celebrities and to take wefies with them, particularly during the grid walkabout and during the celebrity meet-and-greet sessions. Luckier winners may even be selected to win a ride around the Batu Kawan circuit in the Vios Challenge cars driven by their favourite celebrity.
Media Prima will also be bringing their Drama Sangat bus tour celebrities to the event and there will be various sessions throughout the day where fans will be able to meet up with them and get their hands on exclusive souvenirs.
While visitors gaze at the stars who will appear on stage, they should also not miss the opportunity to gaze at the Toyota C-HR that is making its first appearance in the northern region in Batu Kawan. This all-new compact SUV is due for launch in Malaysia in 2018 but UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) is giving a preview now. There will also be other Toyota models on display and available for test-drives.
With the ongoing ‘Buy & Win’ promotion, purchasers of new Toyota vehicles stand a chance to win a brand new Toyota Vios Sports Edition inspired by the Vios Challenge racing cars or a trip for two to the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in October.
Entrance to the TGR Racing Festival is free and the gates open from 12 noon daily with activities stretching till 8 pm. UMWT officials expects a large number of visitors so be there early and enjoy the excitement all day long.