27 OCTOBER 2020 -
Malaysia’s Taj Izrin Aiman Taj Madira did the nation proud by finishing second overall and clinching a
winner’s purse of US$3,000 in the inaugural GR Supra GT Cup Asia regional e-Motorsports
Taj Aiman was the best of the Malaysian virtual racers with team mates Muhammad Iqbal Ahmad
Suji finishing in fourth position, while the third Malaysian representative Meor Hafiz finished the race
as 15th best.
Organized by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP) and decided over three challenging races driving
identical GR Supra RZ20 race cars, the GR Supra GT Cup Asia brought together 15 best national
qualifiers across five countries - Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and India.
Singapore’s AR Muhammad Aleef was crowned the overall champion taking home a handsome grand
prize of US$6,000 with Thailand’s Nathayos Sirigaya finishing third with a purse of US$1,500.
The Malaysian campaign began promisingly in Race 1 at the Fuji International Speedway with Iqbal
Suji and Taj Aiman finishing the seven-lap race in second and third positions respectively.
Singaporean Muhammad Aleef led the race from start to finish, taking the chequered flag six seconds
ahead of the field. Taj Aiman, who is also the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship champion,
made an early challenge for the lead in the opening stages of the race but a mistake forced him to
incur a 1-second penalty, elevating Iqbal to second position.
Muhammad Aleef also went on to take the victory in Race 2 at the Tokyo Espressway street circuit,
with Sirigaya finishing second, Filipino Terence Lallave coming in third, Taj Aiman clinching fourth and
another Singaporean Jason Tay rounding up the top five finishers. Iqbal Suji completed the five-lap
race around the 7.3km circuit in seventh with Meor Hafiz finishing in 14th place.
Going into the third and final race at the famous 21km Nurburgring circuit, Taj Aiman still had a
mathematical chance to win the overall event and bounced back to set the fastest time claiming pole
position in the three-lap race just ahead of Muhammad Aleef and Sirigaya who were also in
contention for the overall title.
Taj Aiman’s drive at the head of the pack remained unchallenged for the first two laps with Sirigaya
and Muhammad Aleef in hot pursuit. All three drivers employed a similar race strategy to make the
compulsory pit stop at the same time.
Rejoining the race with one final lap to go, Sirigaya successfully passed Taj Aiman for the lead but was
later slapped with a one second penalty for his aggression. That elevated Taj Aiman back into the lead
which he defended right to the finish, with Sirigaya crossing the finish line in second and Muhammad
Aleef taking third position but having done enough to finish 3 points ahead of Taj Aiman to take the
overall victory. Iqbal Suji finished fourth with Meor Hafiz taking 12th position.
“It has been a phenomenal year for me, having won the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship,
given the honor to represent Malaysia and going on to finish second in the GR Supra GT Cup Asia,
What an incredible experience,” said Taj Aiman.
“Coming in second and just three points shy of an overall victory is tough but that’s racing, and it is
what it is.”
In the face of a challenging year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), virtual racing has grown
exponentially to allow Toyota to continue its campaign in motorsports both locally and globally.
At home, UMW Toyota Motor continues to be the first, and remains as the only car company to be
associated with the fast-growing e-Motorsport activities with the organizing of the Toyota GR Velocity
Esports Championship over the last three years, a program that was also instrumental in launching
the very first GR Supra GT Cup Asia series.
“With simulator racing becoming more competitive and also regarded as an importantstepping stone
for some of the world’s best real life racers and teams, it is important that Malaysian virtual racers
are also given the opportunity to compete at regional as well as international levels. At Toyota, we
are delighted to be able to provide them with this exposure,” said Akio Takeyama, GAZOO RACING
Malaysia’s Chief Motorsport Officer.
Meanwhile, President of UMW Toyota Motor Mr. Ravindran K. said the company’s contribution to
Malaysian motorsports will continue both on the racing track and in the virtual world as it aspires to
bridge both disciplines and bring motor-racing to the masses.
“It’s amazing to see how far virtual racing has come and, in many ways, today becoming an important
element in accelerating the learning and development of a driver on the track. Virtual racing has also
been instrumental in growing the interest and appreciation for motorsports and moving forward,
UMWT will continue to invest in its potential,” said Ravindran, adding that part of UMWT’s initiatives
include the recent launching of a GAZOO RACING Young Talent Development Program which is aimed
at allowing both young karters and simulator racers to transition into real racing.
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GR SUPRA GT CUP ASIA OVERALL RESULTS
|1. AR Muhammad Aleef||Singapore||36 points|
|2. Taj Izrin Aiman||Malaysia||33 points|
|3. N. Sirigaya||Thailand||25 points|
|4. Iqbal Ahmad SUji||Malaysia||24 points|
|5. T. Lallave||Philippines||18 points|