The second and final day of round 3 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge street racing series concluded with three dramatic races at the Batu Kawan Stadium in Penang.
Action in the Super Sporting, Sporting and Promotional classes for professional, amateur and celebrity racers respectively had more than 15,000 spectators over the two days at the edge of their seats.
SUPER SPORTING CLASS
In the Super Sporting class, Freddie Ang driving for Telagamas Toyota clinched the win in Race 2 ahead of Toyotsu’s William Ho and defending class champion Boy Wong.
Freddie made a brilliant getaway from the front of the grid to lead the 22-lap race from start to finish with Ho in close pursuit but not having the right opportunity to overtake.
“I had a good start and just tried to pull away. William was close behind but I managed to maintain a good pace to the finish. It was also tough due to the intense heat today,” said Ng who is currently placed third in the overall point standings and still in the fight for the overall championship with two races remaining in the season.
For Ho, setting for second place was a strategic decision to keep his championship hopes alive.
“It was super hot inside the car although I had the window wound down. Freddie (Ng) made a good start and there was absolutely no opportunity for overtaking. There are still two races to go and I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risk that would have jeopardized my chances in the championship,” said Ho.
The day however, did not go as planned for Race 1 winner Tengku Djan Ley who overcooked it in the very first lap and brushed the concrete barrier. A damaged right rear wheel forced him to pit but rejoining the race two laps down essentially concluded his challenge.
Competition in the Sporting class was no less intense with two safety car incidents which eventually decided how the race would end.
Starting at the front of the grid, S&D Tama Motorsports’ Tom Goh led into the first corner ahead of Dream Chaser’s Bradley Benedict Anthony, Crestmax Motorsports’ Adam Khalid, SMS Motorsports’ Haji Sutan Mustaffa Salihin and Panglima City Racing Team’s Kenneth Koh.
The race however, was prematurely stopped in the second lap after a 6-car pile-up. At the restart which was held behind the safety car, 4 of the 16 cars had been eliminated.
Goh continued his dominant drive after the restart and built a gap of more than a two seconds as Haji Sutan
and Bradley Benedict was pre-occupied in the battle for second place. Bradley Benedict eventually passed Haji Sutan in the ninth lap and began hunting down Goh.
As the final stages of the race unfolded, Shanmuganathan Arumugam spun his vehicle on the track which brought out the safety car for a second time. This virtually erased whatever gap Goh had worked so hard to establish and with two laps to finish (after the safety car exited the track), Bradley Benedict mounted a last minute challenge which put him into the lead two corners from the chequered flag to claim his first race victory of the season. Goh settled for second with Haji Sutan coming in third.
“I would like to thank my parents, my brother Brendan Paul Anthony, my sponsors and the entire team. Starting from third on the grid I didn’t expect to win, especially on such a tight circuit,” said Bradley Benedict.
“I was hoping for the best and I pushed all the way. I just had a better pace.”
In the Promotional class, Shukri Yahaya, Nabil Ahmad and Shawn Lee again made up the top three positions in an equally exciting 20-lap race.
Shukri was the biggest gainer at the start, jumping from fourth position on the grid to second place, passing singers Nabila Razali and Wany Hasrita who were caught off guard. Actress Janna Nick made the most of her pole position to lead the race for two laps before having to yield to Shukri who was clearly setting faster pace.
By lap 4, Nabil too made a move to claim second from Janna who by then had to fend off a further challenge from Lee.
Janna defended well on the track and put up her best driving yet this season but slight contact with Lee four laps from the finish spun her around into oncoming traffic. Actress Diana Danielle and Nabila managed to avoid hitting Janna’s car but actor Syafiq Kyle drove straight into her.
“I wasn’t expecting to win but I pounced on the opportunity when Wany and Nabila made a slow start,” said Shukri. “It was my first win this season and I’m really pleased with that.”
For fans in Penang, the excitement of the TGR Festival included the display and test drive of Toyota’s fleet of new vehicles, a drift performance by Japanese drifters courtesy of Toyo Tires, a racing simulator challenge, stage games, celebrity performances, promotional activities, lucky draws, the sale of merchandises, and a Super Fans Signing Session for a chance to mingle with the celebrities racing in the Promotional class.
Other attractions were a fleet of motorcycles and merchandise on display and sale by Harley Davidson and Moto Guzzi, a bey blade competition, the sale of Hot Wheels die cast models, a concert by popular
local band Hujan, and a display by the Art of Speed. The final day of the TGR Festival also kicked off with a fun run within the street circuit and zumba fitness session.
As an added bonus, all vehicles purchased during the two-day event also came with a RM200 complimentary service voucher.
- Shukri Yahaya
- Nabil Ahmad
- Shawn Lee
- Diana Danielle
- Nabila Razali
- Bradley Benedict Anthony – Dream Chaser
- Tom Goh – S&D Tama Motorsports
- Haji Sutan Mustaffa – SMS Motorsports
- Adam Khalid – Crestmax Motorsports
- Kenneth Koh – Panglima City Racing Team
SUPER SPORTING CLASS
- Freddie Ang – Telagamas Toyota
- William Ho – Toyotsu
- Boy Wong
- Syafiq Ali – M7 Japan Project Team
- Mark Darwin – Laser Motor Racing