In the interest of the health and safety of the fans, race teams, and personnel, UMW Toyota (UMWT) has officially concluded season three of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge, unfortunately cut short in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, Tengku Djan Ley, Hayden Haikal, and Shawn Lee are crowned champions for the Super Sporting, Sporting, and Promotional Class respectively, as a reflection of championship standings before the break.
Season three of the Toyota Vios Challenge concludes with 75% of the scheduled races completed. The season finale, originally scheduled on the 17-19 April at the Sepang International Circuit had to be unfortunately cancelled in response to the Movement Control Order (MCO), as well as advice from authorities against holding any public activities and gatherings until the end of the year.
UMWT Chief Motorsports Officer, Akio Takeyama said, “It is certainly not the most ideal way to conclude what has traditionally been a closely-contested championship. […] Season three had again demonstrated this spirit of competition, but inevitably the final race must yield to an even greater agenda which is to place national interest and public safety ahead of all other matters.”
Takeyama, who is also the Deputy Chairman of UMWT, clarified that the final results were made after careful deliberation in adherence to all provisions underlined by the technical and sporting regulations of the championship, as well as in discussion with the country’s motorsports governing body, Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM).
Tengku Djan Ley’s overall win in season three marks his second title in the Toyota Vios Challenge’s Super Sporting Class. Driving for Team 23 Motors, Tengku Djan finished the season 11 points clear of second place winner Mark Darwin (Laser Motor Racing), with Freddie Ang (Telagamas Toyota) a further 14 points behind rounding up the top three positions.
In the Sporting Class, 16-year-old Hayden Haikal took the championship in just his second season of the Toyota Vios Challenge, and more impressively second year driving a saloon car after transitioning from karting.
Hayden Haikal took home overall champion with a 12 point lead over second-place Bradley Benedict Anthony (Dream Chaser), also a teenage driver. Haji Sutan Mustaffa (SMS Motorsports) took third place, one point behind Benedict Anthony.
As for the Promotional Class, Shawn Lee also claimed his second championship victory in the series. Lee was crowned champion in season one of the Toyota Vios Challenge Promotional Class, and was promoted to the more competitive Sporting Class in season two.
Returning to the Promotional Class in season three, Lee adopted a more patient and strategic method, which resulted in one of his most dominant season, ending the season 15 points ahead of second place, actor Shukri Yahaya. Third place goes to TV personality Nabil Ahmad, with eight points adrift.
The company is already in the advance stages of preparing for the fourth season of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge. “Season 4 will be an entirely different experience, offering racers, teams and participating dealers not only an enhanced racing format but also prize and reward structure,” said Takeyama.
“Without revealing too much too soon, I would also like to announce that the Toyota Gazoo Racing spirit will extend beyond the Toyota Vios Challenge and provide racers with additional racing programs to compete in. Another element we are closely looking into is talent development and expansion of TGR e-Racing.”