- Three unique racing events
- Introduction of a Rookie Class for young drivers
- New celebrities recruited for Vios Challenge
Season 4 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival kicks off in January 2021 and takes on new format that offers racers three racing series, 11 spectacular races and combined prize monies amounting to RM420,000.
Expanding from three successful seasons, Season 4 of the Festival will be anchored by the ever popular Vios Challenge, in addition to the introduction of the Gazoo Racing Vios Sprint Cup and Gazoo Racing Enduro Cup (endurance race).
The Vios Challenge will feature three rounds and a total of six races, while the GR Vios Sprint Cup will see two rounds and a total of 4 races being held. The GR Enduro Cup meanwhile, will be run in conjunction with the annual Sepang 1000km Endurance Race.
“Three individual racing events will to spearhead the Gazoo Racing (GR) presence in Malaysian motorsports. As you know, Gazoo Racing is the umbrella for all of Toyota’s motor-racing activities globally, and after three seasons of successfully organizing the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival, 2021 will cement an even greater commitment from Toyota to contribute to the development of motorsports in Malaysia,” said UMW Toyota Deputy Chairman and Gazoo Racing Malaysia’s Chief Motorsport Officer Akio Takeyama.
“Season 4 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival is going to be even more exciting, offering participating racers and teams an entirely different and a more rewarding experience.”
In three seasons of the Vios Challenge, a total of three million viewers have tuned into the races online, in addition to attracting more than 215,000 to the 11 rounds staged to date.
The Vios Challenge retains its one-make format with four classes of racing: the Promotional Class for celebrities; the Super Sporting Class for professional and top seeded drivers; the Sporting Class for amateur and newcomer drivers; and the newly-introduced Rookie Class for young drivers.
In the Promotional Class, actor Shukri Yahaya will lead the star-studded line-up and will be joined by actress Janna Nick, presenter Nabil Ahmad and singers Wany Hasrita, Nabila Razali and Khai Bahar. They will be joined by three newcomers, actor Zizan Razak, singer/song writer Talitha Tan and television personality Ahirene Ahirudin.
The Sporting Class will have no less than 18 confirmed drivers with the prospect of a new champion being crowned. Names to look out for include last season’s runner-up and Dream Chaser driver Bradley Benedict Anthony, Season 3’s second runner-up haji Sutan Mustaffa, and a long list of regular race winners such as Kenneth Koh, Adam Khalid, Dato’ Dr Ken Foo, Lim Chun Beng and Tom Goh.
In the incredibly competitive Super Sporting Class, two-time Vios Challenge champion Tengku Djan Ley returns to the grid to defend his title. Last season’s Sporting Class champion and the youngest winner of the Vios Challenge, 16-year-old Hayden Haikal has also earned a promotion into the Super Sporting Class. Other contenders in the class to look out for will be Season 2 champion Boy Wong, last season’s runner-up Mark Darwin, last season’s second runner-up Freddie Ang, and big names the likes of William Ho, Kenny Lee, Keifli Othman, Syafiq Ali and former Sporting Class champion Brendan Paul Anthony.
“I’m looking forward to racing alongside the professionals. The standards of driving, race craft and experience will definitely be higher and this is something I look forward to and believe will contribute immensely to my learning and growth as a driver,” said Hayden.
Season 4 of the Vios Challenge will also see the inaugural running of the Rookie Class which will see six new graduates of the Gazoo Racing Young Talent Development Program racing in a saloon car for their very first time. Transitioning into saloon car racing, the six young drivers include simulator racers Mika Hakimi, 17 and Naquib Azlan, 20; and karters Amer Harris, 17; Jwan Hii, 18; Putera Adam, 14; and Troy Eimann, 16.
The first of its kind to be introduced by any Malaysian automotive company, the program, pioneered by UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd, scouted and drafted six young racers (based on their karting and sim-racing accomplishments with the rookies subsequently undergoing both on and off the track training under the stewardship and guidance of experienced instructors.
Racing recommences in January 2021 with the opening round of Season 4 scheduled to be held at the Sepang International Circuit. Round 2 will be held in July, also at the Sepang International Circuit, while the third and final round will be in September.
As with previous seasons, the Toyota Vios Challenge will offer individual round prize monies for each of the two races per weekend, as well as prize monies for the overall series winner at the end of the season.
GR VIOS SPRINT CUP/GR ENDURO CUP
As an added bonus for all participating drivers and teams, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd has announced the running of the inaugural GR Vios Sprint Cup and GR Enduro Cup races.
The Vios Sprint Cup will comprise of two races per round or a total of four races over two rounds held in conjunction with the Malaysia Championship Series. The Enduro Cup meanwhile, will be an endurance race held within the Sepang 1000km Race as the finale for Season 4’s racing calendar. All races will be held at the Sepang International Circuit.
These additional events are independent of the Toyota Vios Challenge series and designed to provide drivers and teams with more racing activities and the opportunity to win additional prize monies throughout the 2021 racing calendar year.
Both the GR Vios Sprint Cup and Enduro Cup will retain the format of a one-make race, featuring the same vehicles used in the Vios Challenge. The races however, will only be run as one single open class and drivers competing in the Vios Challenge are not compelled to participate in the GR Vios Sprint Cup and Enduro Cup. Teams meanwhile, are also not confined to competing with their regular driver/s signed up in the Vios Challenge and are free to field new drivers for both events. The results of the GR Vios Sprint Cup and Enduro Cup races will also not have any bearing on the overall point standings in the Toyota Vios Challenge series.
PROVISIONAL GAZOO RACING MALAYSIA RACING CALENDAR 2021
|TGR/Toyota Vios Challenge||Round 1||2 races||28-30 January|
|GR Vios Sprint Cup @ Malaysia Championship Series||Round 1||2 races||26-28 March|
|GR Vios Sprint Cup @ Malaysia Championship Series||Round 2||2 races||28-30 May|
|TGR/Toyota Vios Challenge||Round 2||2 races||16-18 July|
|TGR/Toyota Vios Challenge||Round 3||2 races||24-26 September|
|GR Vios Enduro Cup @ Sepang 1000km race||Endurance Race||1 races||November|