Shah Alam, 3 June 2022 – The People’s Race returns when the Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival reopens its doors to the public on 25-26 June 2022 for the first time in two years with a celebration of fun-filled on-ground activities and programs for the family against the backdrop of live racing drama on the track at the Sepang International Circuit.
The two-day weekend festival is not only back, but it’s bigger and more exciting! This is to make up for a two-year break due to the COVID 19 pandemic which forced racing activities in the Vios Challenge racing series to be held behind closed doors and without public attendance. Currently into its fifth season/year, the Vios Challenge is recognized for nothing less than wheel-to-wheel racing action featuring local celebrities, young drivers, amateurs and professionals.
“We are so excited to be able to welcome back the people to the Festival and Round 2 of the Vios Challenge. There are a myriad of activities lined up suited for everyone, from families looking to spend their weekend to racing fans and enthusiasts. Welcome back!” said UMW Toyota Motor President Ravindran K.
“This is and has always been a Festival for the people, never mind that they may not be outright racing fans. It’s a platform for Toyota to give back and to celebrate the people, thanking them for their continued support of the brand. This is also a great opportunity to bring back festivities and activities for the people after two years of being hunkered down against the pandemic. As for racing, the Vios Challenge continues to provide an affordable entry into competitive and levelplaying field racing with its one-make format and the many classes for young drivers, amateurs, professionals and even local celebrities.”
Fans can once again get up close and personal with their favourite celebrities who will be battling it out in the Promotional Class. Season 5’s line-up includes Season 4 champion and actor Shukri Yahaya; last year’s runner-up and actor Zizan Razak; television host Nabil Ahmad; actress Janna Nick; singers Wany Hasrita, Nabila Razali and Khai Bahar; TV personality Ahirine Ahiruddin; and actress and presenter Ain Edruce who returns to the Vios Challenge from a sabbatical after welcoming her first born child.
These celebrities will also be performing live over the weekend, and in addition, UMW Toyota Motor will also be organizing a special concert featuring Malaysian rock band Bunkface on Saturday, and for the first time ever, staging an international act by Indonesian singer Judika on Sunday.
The festival ground will be abuzz with merchandise and promotional booths, carnival games and activities. Entrance and parking to the festival, including the concert and the many programs available, is free of charge and everyone is welcome. Visitors however, must register their attendance at the Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia website to gain access to the Festival.
And for those who have yet to experience the Sepang International Circuit, a special All-Wheel Fest invites those with non-motorized vehicles (bicycles, roller blades, skateboards, long boards, push bikes, push scooters, etc) to take a spin around the 2.7km track. There will also be a zumba session for fitness aficionados.
Elaborating on the People’s Race, Ravindran K. said it has always been Toyota’s objective from the onset to contribute to and bring about greater excitement in Malaysian motorsports.
“The Vios Challenge continues to evolve every year since we started the series in 2017. We established and until today, retain the format of a one-make series to make it affordable and accessible for those who want to compete.
“The Vios Challenge has evolved tremendously, attracting more new and young drivers to drive at a competitive level, we have even invested in the GAZOO Racing Young Driver Development Program to enable those between the ages of 15 and 20 to transition into saloon car racing from karting and simulator racing, and we have even introduced a Rookie Class for young drivers in the Vios Challenge race. In 2021, the Vios Challenge was also held at night for the very first time under the bright lights of the Sepang International Circuit.”
Toyota’s focus on attracting young talent has since paid off handsomely when a 15-year-old emerged to become overall champion in the Sporting Class for amateurs in Season 3. It’s investment in the GAZOO Racing Young Driver Development Program has also seen a simulator driver crowned champion in the Rookie Class and going on to becoming one of the most competitive drivers not only in the Vios Challenge but also in other local racing series. Its other graduates are also currently among the leading contenders in other local racing series.
Ravindran K. added that the Vios Challenge has also been the most rewarding racing series to compete in over the last five years, with Season 5 offering in total more than a half a million ringgit in prize monies which includes RM70,000 and RM50,000 to the overall champion of the Super Sporting and Sporting Class champions respectively.
For those who are unable to race but still want to be intimately involved in the Vios Challenge, UMW Toyota Motor has also introduced the GAZOO Racing Dream Team TGR Fantasy Game. This is a racing platform where players sign up and compete against each other by creating their very own TGR Dream Team of racers they think will perform best throughout the season. Participants will have to select 3 drivers from each of the 4 classes of racing, and their team will accumulate or lose points based on the real racing results throughout the 3 rounds in Season 5. The player with the most number of points will be declared the winner at the end of the season for a chance to win attractive prizes.
Season 5 of the Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival and Vios Challenge feature 3 rounds and a total of 6 races with Round 1 already completed and Round 3 to be held in September. In 4 seasons of the Vios Challenge so far, the Festival and Vios Challenge have successfully attracted more than 8 million spectators and online viewers, and garnering a social media reach exceeding 19 million, making it one of the most viewed domestic motor-racing events.
“This is what we mean by the People’s Race – it is not only intended to change the dynamics in the local motor-racing but it is also a Festival to celebrate the people and hopefully entice them to learn, understand and appreciate motorsports as we do with traditional sporting events such as soccer and badminton,” Ravindran K. said.
The Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival opens its doors on 25-26 June 2022 at the Sepang International Circuit. Entrance, all activities and parking is free. All visitors must register their attendance to gain access to the Festival. To register, log on to the Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia website at www.toyota.com.my/tgrmalaysia
Racing fans and enthusiasts can also catch the weekend’s action and stage performances by local celebrities streamed live on the Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia website at www.toyota.com.my/tgrmalaysia and on the Toyota Malaysia and Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia Facebook pages.