Shah Alam, 22 May 2022 – Being at the right place and striking at the right time – that seems to be the winning formula for the pair of Tengku Djan Tengku Mahaleel and Mika Hakimi who drove to a sterling and almost identical wins in Race 1 and 2 of the inaugural running of the GAZOO Racing Vios Sprint Cup.
The Prima Pearl TD Racing pair celebrated a rewarding race weekend at the Sepang International Circuit, winning both one-hour races, with 18-year-old Mika driving to victory after snatching the lead in the final lap of yesterday’s Race 1, and Tengku Djan – who is also three-time Vios Challenge overall champion and Malaysia’s Drift King – leaving it until the penultimate stages of this afternoon’s Race 2 to storm ahead for the race win.
Unlike yesterday’s Race 1 which was held in blistering heat, Race 2 got underway after being delayed twice and just after a heavy downpour subsided making conditions around the 5.543km circuit even more challenging and slippery.
Race 2’s grid was made up of 19 cars or 38 drivers, with the inclusion of Laser Motor Racing’s Eddie Liew and Putera Adam who were able to overcome a technical problem that eliminated the pair from starting Race 1.
In a reverse grid format, yesterday’s winning pair of Tengku Djan and Mika started Race 2 in sixth position and carrying weight penalties. On pole position was the Vios driven by the pair of Ady Rahimy and 16-year-old Abdul Miqail, followed by Laser Motor racing’s Mark Darwin and Bradley Benedict Anthony, while in third position was Axle Motorsports’ Hayden Haikal and Naquib Azlan who finished fourth in Race 1. Starting from fourth on the grid was S&D Tama Motorsports’ Tom Goh and Freddie Ang who was yesterday’s third place winner.
Abdul Miqail got off to a great start but failed to hang on to his race lead when he spun off the track just as the race entered its second lap. That immediately promoted Naquib to race leader with Bradley, Nabil and Mika in close pursuit. Positions remained unchanged for four laps until Bradley misjudged his braking point, losing track position to Nabil and Mika.
The biggest gainer in the opening stages of the one-hour race however, was Putera Adam who jumped 17 places from last position and into the lead by lap 7 of the race. The 16-year-old drove a blistering pace and was among the last drivers to make the compulsory pit stop for a driver change, before handing the responsibility to his team mate Eddie in the remaining 30 minutes of the race.
With the driver changes completed, Eddie led the race 4.7 seconds ahead of Tengku Djan with Hayden, Boy and Mark rounding up the top five front runners. His lead however, diminished lap after lap as the pair of Tengku Djan and Boy lapped the circuit almost a second a lap quicker, and by lap 14, the three drivers would be three abreast fighting for the lead.
With only three laps remaining, Tengku Djan piled on the pressure to move from third to first, emulating a move his partner Mika did the previous day to win Race 1, and once in front, his lead would grow from 1.3 seconds to 4.5 seconds by the time he took the chequered flag. Boy secured second place, with Hayden finishing third, Eddie in fourth position and fifth place going to the M7 Japan Project Team’s Fariqe Hairuman and Tarmimi Tahang.
“At the end of the day it’s all about team work and both drivers must have similar pace, and only then will you have a fighting chance. Mika has been able to keep his cool throughout the race weekend and on top of that he has the speed. We have to work as a team, there must be a sharing of knowledge, and you can’t do everything yourself,” said Tengku Djan.
Meanwhile, UMW Toyota Motor President Ravindran K. said the GAZOO Racing Vios Sprint Cup and its format of a one-hour race with a driver change has certainly introduced new dynamics to the racing many of the drivers who are already competing in the Vios Challenge used to.
“As you know UMW Toyota Motors’ foray into Malaysian motorsports began with the introduction of a street racing series. That has since evolved to include races on the half and full track length at Sepang International Circuit, the organizing of a night race, the introduction of a program to develop young drivers and creating a Rookie Class, and even participation in the Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race last year as well as the running of the Vios Enduro Cup,” said Ravindran.
“These elements combined are in line with our efforts to contribute to not only growing interest in motorsports, but to make it even more exciting for both the participating teams and drivers, as well as spectators and enthusiasts.”
The GAZOO Racing Vios Sprint Cup was held in conjunction with the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) and features two 1-hour races over the weekend, with two-driver teams competing in three generations of Vios vying for total prize monies amounting to RM60,000. The champion in each of the two races at the GR Vios Sprint Cup won RM10,000 cash, followed by RM8,000 for the first runner up, RM6,000 to the third place winner, and RM4,000 and RM2,000 for the fourth and fifth place winners respectively.
For more information, kindly visit www.toyota.com.my.
GR VIOS SPRINT CUP – RACE 2 RESULTS
1. Tengku Djan Ley/Mika Hakimi – Prima Pearl TD Racing
2. Boy Wong/Nabil Azlan – Axle Motorsports
3. Hayden Haikal/Naquib Azlan – Axle Motorsports
4. Eddie Liew/Putera Adam – Laser Motor Racing
5. Fariqe Hairuman/Tarmimi Tahang – M7Japan Project Racing Team