Fresh from competing in round 2 of the championship, an army of Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge racers will be taking on this weekend’s Sepang 1000km (S1K) Endurance Race at the Sepang International Circuit.
The nine-hour event or a race to 181 laps will also see the entry of 10 Toyota Vios race cars in action, led by UMW Toyota Motor Chief Motorsports Officer Akio Takeyama. He will lead the Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia Team charge alongside Super Sporting Class driver William Ho and Japanese counterpart and touring car legend Akira Iida, who has six Le Mans 24-hour race finishes under his belt.
S1K will also see the entry of a two-Vios-car team by Wing Hin Motorsport that include TGR Season 2 Super Sporting Class champion Boy Wong and Sporting Class driver Dannies Ng.
Other Toyota Vios entries include two cars representing HI REV SIC Dream Chaser with the first consisting of Malaysian MotoGP rider Hafizh Syarin, single-seater driver Alister Yoong and TGR teenage driver Badley Benedict Anthony. The second Vios meanwhile, will be piloted by lady drivers Angeline Lee and Siti Shahkirah Shaharul.
Team 23 Motors will also field three Toyota Vios driven by TGR drivers Ahmad Tarmimi Tahang and Mirza Syahmi, who will be joined by actors Sharnaaz Ahmad, Zizan Razak, Shuib Sepathu, Shahmira Muhamad, Akid Azle and Malaysian sports car racer Zen Low. Also driving the Toyota Vios are BHP Racing’s Azli Mohamed Dali and Shafiq Shaiful Zamri; the quartet of Kenneth Loh, Tan Wei Ming, Teong Chee How and Yak Tze Yih who will be representing OD Racing; St Wangan Racing Team’s Soh Chee Kiat, Lin Zheng Liang and Deric Teo.
Meanwhile, TGR drivers registered to compete in this weekend’s 72-car line-up but racing in different makes include 15-year-old teenage sensation Hayden Haikal. Also driving for Team HiRev SIC Dream Chaser will be TGR drivers include Adam Khalid and Freddie Ang.
Another Vios Challenge driver in action this weekend will be Season 1 Super Sporting Class champion Tengku Djan Ley. TGR driver Syafiq Ali will also line up on the grid as the most accomplished of the 72-car S1K entrants with three S1K victories to his credit. Meanwhile, TGR Super Sporting Class driver Kenny Lee will take on the role of team manager this time with 4 cars entered in the S1K.
Also competing in the event are current and former TGR drivers Keifli Othman, Alif Hamdan, Leona Chin, Season 2 Sporting Class champion Brendan Paul Anthony, Mark Darwin, Eddie Liew and Akina Teo.
“It’s exciting to see so many Vios Challenge drivers at the forefront of this weekend’s S1K Endurance Race,” said Takeyama. “For me personally, it will be my first endurance race and this will undoubtedly be challenging and completely different from the sprint races I am used to in the Vios Challenge.
“For Toyota, it will be an important test of endurance, reliability, durability and performance for the Vios in a super competitive environment,” he said.
Now into its third Season, the TGR Festival and Vios Challenge have proven to become an attractive platform for drivers to hone their skills in their pursuit to reach the higher levels of motor-racing.
“This is evident with the participation of S1K first timers such as Hayden Haikal and Bradley Benedict Anthony, both who have proven to be very competitive in a street circuit after transitioning from karting to saloon car racing in the Vios Challenge.”
Takeyama added that although the Vios Challenge was a steep learning curve for Malaysian drivers who are not widely exposed to racing on a street circuit, these challenges also immensely contribute to accelerating the driving skills, intuitiveness and confidence of participating racers.
Round 3 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge will move to the Batu Kawan Stadium in Penang from 14-16 February 2020; with the finale to be contested at the Sepang International Circuit on 17-19 April 2020.