The second round of the Toyota Vios Challenge (Season 2) is on this weekend at the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Racing Festival which will again be held at the grounds of the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) to the south of Kuala Lumpur. The first round of the one-make series was held in Kuala Terengganu in August and attracted more than 20,000 spectators.

There are three classes in the Vios Challenge – Promotional, Sporting and Super Sporting – and each class has its own brand of excitement. In the Promotional Class, the overall point standings after one round of the series have been dominated by ladies. Singer Akim Ahmad leads with 35 points but it was Diana Danielle, Wany Hasrita and Janna Nick who drove into the spotlight and are currently in second, third and fourth places with 24, 17 and 16 points, respectively. In fifth position, is singer Aiman Tino.

If it rains a lot, there could be drama like this scene from last year’s event at the same venue.

In the Sporting class, the competition is again expected to be at its most intense with celebrities Shawn Lee and Shukri Yahaya battling it out in a pool of competitive racers.

The two celebrities raced in the Promotional Class in Season 1 and because of their victories, they were promoted to the Sporting class. In spite of being up against quicker and more aggressive drivers, Shawn was still able to set a blistering pace to win one of the two races in the opening round in Kuala Terengganu.

“It’s definitely a lot tougher this time round, but I’m approaching every race with optimism making sure that I keep my cool and focus, drive consistently and keep clear of any drama – especially the concrete barriers! We’ve had two months to reflect on the opening round of the season and to take the necessary steps to prepare for a stronger performance in Round 2,” said Asia’s top beatboxer.

Other drivers to watch in Round 2 will be Tedco Racing’s Brendon Lim, Patrick Tam, Dannies Ng Khai Ee, Kenneth Koh, Eric Yong and Vincent Ng who are the frontrunners in the class championship.

Some of the cars being prepared for practices today. Each Vios has identical specifications and strict checks ensure that no modifications have been done.

The professional drivers compete in the Super Sporting Class which can always be counted on for close racing. Leading in overall points is Revo Technik Malaysia’s William Ho, followed by M7 Racing Team’s Syafiq Ali who is 8 points behind. Making his debut in the Vios Challenge is former Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver and 2014 Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race champion, Alif Mohamed Hamdan.

Spectators can be this close to the track as the cars race by.
Aerial view of the circuit which has been created just for the Vios Challenge.

More than just a race, the 2-day event will also showcase various facets of Toyota with the highlight being the first public display of the all-new Toyota Rush SUV. Previewed recently to the media, visitors will be able to learn more about the model’s advanced safety systems and innovative features and also experience it on test-drives.

Visitors at the TGR Racing Festival can view and test-drive the all-new Toyota Rush SUV. If you like it and want to own one, bookings are now accepted with deliveries to commence in January 2019.

“Toyota is All About the Drive, and the TGR Racing Festival provides an ideal platform for our customers to experience this. We invite everyone to come see for themselves the reliability, durability, safety, competitiveness and performance of our vehicles, in particular the 1.5-litre Vios, in the hands of racers competing in the Vios Challenge,” said UMW Toyota Motor’s President, Ravindran K.

Two drivers from Japan will be showing off their drifting skills during the weekend.
Fans of the celebrities will have an opportunity to meet them, take selfies with them and get autographed posters.
Various clubs will also be displaying their cars at the event.

Entrance is free and there are many activities throughout Saturday and Sunday including concerts by celebrities (and a chance to get close to meet them), display and sales of merchandise, gathering of car clubs, simulator racing challenges and lucky draws. Food trucks will also be nearby with a variety of food and drinks to stay ‘fuelled up’ the whole day. There’s ample parking at the site but if you prefer to use Grab, UMW Toyota Motor has a special arrangement with the service which will get you RM8 off the fare. Use the promo code ‘TOYOTA’ for the discount when booking your ride.

[Chips Yap]

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