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Vios Challenge brought a couple of surprises

The oohs and aahs reverberated all around the seemingly packed expanse of MAEPS in Serdang that Sunday, in between the thrills and shrills, and shouts of encouragement from the huge crowd. Each of the three Vios Challenge Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival categories – Super Sporting, Sporting and the Promotional Class, offered their own fair share of drama and happenings, continuing the intensity and action afforded on Saturday.

Accordingly the order of the day was headed off by the Super Sporting class where serious racing abounded; and indeed with the likes of Tengku Djan, Mark Darwin, Boy Wong, William Ho and plenty more in identically prepped Toyota Vios, there were wheel to wheel action all the way through. After a restart following pole man Mark Darwin’s premature retirement the first time out, Tengku Djan streaked ahead followed by the trio of William Ho, Mitchell Cheah and Ser Ming Hui. However Djan had to pull into the pits due to his flailing bumper (courtesy of his run-in with Darwin at the aborted first start) dropping him down the order.

William Ho took up the lead until the next lap where Mitchell Cheah muscled his way through (breaking Ho’s side skirts as he did) rendering William Ho pit-bound. Ser Ming Hui took advantage of the whole fracas to win the race, and after Mitchell received a 15 second penalty, Syafiq Ali was promoted to second while Boy Wong took third. Djan finished in fifth.

The second time out (Race 2) for the Super Sporting boys which was the finale went down after a heavy downpour where the starting grid was made up of a reverse order of the top six from which they’d finished Race 1. Starting behind a safety car which went on for three laps, Mitchell Cheah (sixth in Race 1 meaning pole for Race 2) of the Dream Chaser Team was immediately hounded by Tengku Djan and the pair went on to trade paint, for most of the race.

Alas Mitchell Cheah somehow managed to keep his first position despite the incessant pressure from Djan, William Ho who’d crept up the order from his 7th starting spot found himself behind Djan as the race neared the end, making his fateful move on Lap 12 into Turn 16 of the makeshift MAEPS circuit. His move which forced Djan into retirement was slapped with a 15 second time penalty. Boy Wong took second place while William came storming back up the order despite the time penalty and a slow puncture to boot, to take third.

The Sporting class with its large field of some 19 competitors saw Brandon Lim and Patrick Tam going head to head pretty much all the way through the race. Both Tam and Lim tried all the tricks in their racing handbook right until the chequered flag, with the final result being unexpectedly decided by a third party. Geraldine Read who’d tried adhering to the blue flag to move over and let the leaders past inevitably swayed into Lim’s trajectory which left Tam a clear gap to seemingly cruise on to victory. Lim duly finished second while Brendon Paul was third.

As expected the promotional class received the bulk of the crowd’s attention that Sunday evening at MAEPS was directed at the Promotional Class. Diana Danielle stole the limelight pretty much being the first lady (slash gorgeous celebrity) to take the Vios Challenge podium after a consistent run of quick lap times took her to third place. Shukri Yahaya who inherited the lead following Shawn Lee’s error on the opening lap eventually took the win followed by Danny Koo in second. Notable retirements includes Janna Nick, Venice Min and Geraldine Gan.

It was clear that the MAEPS leg of the TGR Racing Festival Vios Challenge provided a fitting finale for both the competitors and the crowds alike. Come January 19th next year and the 2018 Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) Racing Festival is set to kick off down south in Johor Bahru. Stay up to date via Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia’s home page, Facebook and Instagram.