The top contenders in all three classes drove a textbook race to claim victory in race 1 and extend their championship lead in the Toyota Vios Challenge held at the Batu Kawan Stadium in Penang.
Tengku Djan Ley, Hayden Haikal and Shawn Lee put up an exceptional drive to win the Super Sporting, Sporting and Promotional class races respectively to put them comfortably ahead in the overall point standings.
SUPER SPORTING CLASS
The Super Sporting class saw an extraordinary demonstration of skill by 23 Motors’ Tengku Djan who led the race from pole position to finish 5 seconds clear of Laser Motor Racing’s Mark Darwin and Dream Chaser’s Brendan Paul Anthony.
Tengku Djan made a flawless start from the front of the grid and by the first two laps was already 2.3 seconds ahead of Kegani Racing’s Kenny Lee. Lee’s race however, came to abrupt end on lap 9 when he clipped the wall. That brought out the safety car for four laps essentially erasing whatever lead Tengku Djan had built up, and promoted Mark and Brendan into second and third positions respectively.
“The conditions this afternoon were super hot and everyone struggled with grip. Mark was fast and I had to just focus and drive to the best of my ability. This track is also not forgiving. It was a great race and I just got into a rhythm and maintained a good pace to the finish,” said Tengku Djan.
“The race was tough on both tyres and brakes. You have to go fast but you have to be smooth and can’t over cook it. You have to carefully pick and choose where you can push the car. It was not easy. If you just continue to push too hard you will end up hitting the wall.”
In the Sporting class, Aylezo Motorsports’ Mirza Syahmi Mahzan also made a brilliant start from pole position to lead the 22-lap race from S&D Motorsports’ Hayden Haikal, Panglima City Racing Team’s Kenneth Koh and Crestmax Motorsports’ Adam Khalid.
The first four laps became a close fight for the top two positions with 0.5 seconds separating Mirza and Hayden, but a mistake in the fifth lap sent the former into the wall prematurely ending his race. Hayden inherited the lead and as the race unfolded, extended his lead from 3 to as much as 8 seconds ahead of Koh.
“I had a good start and was following Mirza for quite a few laps but then he made a mistake and understeered into the corner. There was no contact between the two of us and fortunately I managed to avoid Mirza. From then on, I had a clear track ahead and just maintained a consistent pace,” said 16- year-old Hayden who consolidates his position at the top of the overall point standings in the Sporting class.
“My aim is to finish in the points and honestly I am not really thinking of the overall championship.”
For Adam, third place was a huge consolation especially having conceded his third position on the starting grid to Koh due to a slower start.
“It’s evident that looking at the top 5 or 10 drivers in every class, the time differences between us are very marginal. I had a very good fight with Kenneth (Koh) and his offensive structure is very strong. Finishing third is not too bad and the goal is to finish in the points every time,” said Adam.
The Promotional class race for local celebrities meanwhile, was also another textbook finish for Shawn Lee who too stormed to the finish from pole position. In second place was television presenter Nabil Ahmad followed by actor Shukri Yahaya in this position.
The race was started under safety car conditions due to rain but got back underway after 6 laps.
“It was a very hard fight…It was pretty close. I tried to pull ahead but after making one mistake, Nabil was right back at my heels challenging for the lead,” said Lee.
“Looking at the condition of the track, I decided to play it safe today to avoid making any mistake which would cost me the race.”
Singer Nabila Razali meanwhile, was the fastest rose on the track, finishing fourth ahead of fellow singer Wany Hasrita and actress Janna Nick in sixth.
“It was a good fight,” said Nabil. “But my real fight was actually with Shukri who gave me an extremely difficult time as I had to work hard to defend my second position.”
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, and a display by the Art of Speed.
Menwhile, as an added bonus, all vehicles purchased during the event comes with a RM200 complimentary service voucher.
The final day of the TGR Festival kicks off with a fun run and zumba fitness session (open to all) at 7am tomorrow (16 February 2020) and entrance is free!
- Shawn Lee
- Nabil Ahmad
- Shukri Yahaya
- Nabila Razali
- Wany Hasrita
- Hayden Haikal – S&D Motorsports
- Kenneth Koh – Panglima City Racing Team
- Adam Khalid – Crestmax Motorsports
- Bradley Benedict Anthony – Dream Chaser
- Haji Sutan Mustaffa Salihin – SMS Motorsports
SUPER SPORTING CLASS
- Tengku Djan Ley – 23 Motors
- Mark Darwin – Laser Motor Racing
- Brendan Paul Anthony – Dream Chaser
- Boy Wong
- William Ho