The Third Round of the Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) Racing Festival Vios Challenge continued its Race 2 on Saturday following a heated but rain-stricken Race 1. Fortunately, the weather was on TGR’s side as all three classes were graced with clear blue skies of Medini City, Johor.
The 1.9 km seven turn street circuit had plenty of time dry out from yesterday’s rain which resulted in a more harmonious race. Although, there are still plenty of action to keep the strong crowd entertained.
The cars lined up with the previous race winners leading the 17-car pack. Wong Chin Eeg (#5) from Hiewa Racing Team made a great start but pro go-karter Brendan Paul Anthony (#22) from Dream Chaser with his clear racing experience manage to make a clean pass on the inside going into Turn 1. Despite that, Wong maintained a narrow gap in hopes of reclaiming his lost position.
On Lap 11, Clement Yeo (#8) of Team Distinctive Model built up great momentum down the front straight going into Turn 1. Unfortunately, Clement ran out of brakes, pushing Shanmuganathan Arumugam’s car #69 into the water-filled barricades. The safety car was deployed and Turn 1 was put under a permanent yellow flag for the rest of the race.
With two laps to go, Patrick Tam (#13) of Team Nanoplus made a bold move in Turn 5 to pass Goh Eng Peng (#99) but made contact with Goh’s car. Patrick spun out and retired for the second time this weekend.
Crowd favourite, Shawn Lee (#6) despite carrying 55 kg ballast, made a perfect start and pulled ahead from the group by a substantial margin before entering Turn 1. Shukri Yahaya (#24) was not going to let Shawn take all the limelight and closed in on the beatboxer by lap 2.
Janna Nick (#18) who was determined to score a podium finish made a brave charge on lap 3 but locked up her brakes going into Turn 1. The safety car was called out but returned into the pits two laps later.
Shukri who took advantage of the safety car drafting, made his move at Turn 1, overtaking Shawn in the process. While the duo is busy facing each other, Fattah Amin (#9) managed to close the gap on the pair.
Shawn was determined to strike back and made his counterattack on Lap 7 going into the hairpin. After a clean pass, Shawn was determined to widen his gap to secure his lead position. Unbeknownst to Fattah who was busy chasing down Shukri, Danny Koo (#23) was closing in on him to snatch the precious third position.
On Lap 9, Danny finally made his move on the hairpin, but Fattah defended his line well. On the fast Turn 2, Danny went wide into the wall, damaging his front suspension, which caused him to retire from the race.
Super Sporting Class
The top six drivers from the previous race were reversed on the starting grid which saw Keifli Othman (#63) of Laser Motor Racing starting in pole with Tenku Djan (#12) of Team Nanoplus along side him.
The drivers all made a clean start but come Turn 1, Boy Wong (#21) of ST Wangan Racing managed to force Djan wide but the pro drifter managed to defend his position while Syafiq Ali (#7) of M7 Racing Team following closely in third position.
Drama ensued on Lap 8 when Mitchell Cheah (#11) of Dream Chaser lined Kenny Lee (#38) for a pass into Turn 1. Unfortunately, the pair made contact and Mitchell lost his front right tyre, costing him the rest of the race.
By lap 15, Djan was piloting a car with sketchy brakes, causing his car to wiggle under hard braking. Syafiq picked this up and pressured Djan to give up his position. On the final lap, the Prince of Drift pulled the greatest stunt in the history of the Vios Challenge to date – Djan who was anticipating an attempt at Turn 1, gave Syafiq an extremely wide opening whom took the bait and went on to take the inside line. Djan denied him the position by spectacularly swinging his car onto the inside, defending his P2 standing.
The race concluded with Keifli (#63) taking top spot with a Total Time of 28:49.135 at the end of the 22-lap race. Tengku Djan (#12) came in P2, 4.684 seconds behind the winning car and William Ho (#39) taking a safe P3.
It was thrilling weekend for the fans and drivers alike in the Round 3 of the TGR festival Vios Challenge. The season finale is set to take place in Kuala Lumpur in March so be sure to catch all your favourite drivers in the final Vios Challenge of the year.