The season of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival (TGR) got off to a hot start and surprises for the all the celebrity, amateur and professional drivers competing in the Toyota Vios Challenge.
The 1.65km street circuit built against the backdrop of the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu was the venue of TGR round one.
Pole setter in the promotional class, Diana Danielle raced to victory from start to finish of the 22 laps race followed by Akim Ahmad who crossed the finish line in second spot and Janna Nick in third place.
The incident packed 22-lap race which only saw five finishers in the promotional class finished race.
The safety car had to come out twice halfway into the race, Diana Danielle had kept calm throut the race and took advantage of the many incidents that occurred behind her.
Akim Ahmad kept his cool to take advantage of the incidents to claim second despite qualifying seventh.
Meanwhile, third place winner Janna Nick, being on the podium was extremely sweet considering she had been penalized during qualifying which forced her to start from ninth position.
Nabil Ahmad who qualified second on the grid and a clear favourite with his pace in the qualifying hit the wall at the end of the 17th lap and again the safety car had to come out to the tracks.
Fourth position went to UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd Deputy Chairman Akio Takeyama while in fifth was singer and YouTube sensation Wany Hasrita.
Last year promotional class winner and celebrity Shawn Lee has been promoted to Sporting Class and drove to an outstanding and unexpected first race win of the season from pole position. He futher surprised everyone with the blistering pace he had winning with almost 9 second ahead of the second placed Bendon Lim, last season’s runner-up, followed by Kenneth Koh in third who finished 20 seconds adrift of the race winner.
Another promotional driver who was promoted to Sporting Class, actor Mohd Shukri Yahaya’s equally stunning drive to qualifying second on the grid came to a premature end just four corners into the first lap.
In fourth position was Ken Foo while fifth overall was Eric Yong.
SUPER SPORTING CLASS
In Super Sporting class, William Ho, Boy Wong and Kenny Lee finished within a second of each other in a closely-contested battle.
Kenny who had claimed pole position for the race but it was his team mate William who made the better start from second on the grid to lead the 22-lap race from start to finish.
As Kenny chased down William with the hope of regaining the lead, he was momentarily distracted by an issue concerning the overhead starting lights. Slowing down in uncertainty, ST Wangan Racing Team’s Boy Wong surged past Kenny for second position.
Finishing fourth was Keifli Othman driving for Laser Motor Racing while rounding up the top five was Mark Darwin of Dream Chaser.
The second and final day of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge kicks off from 9am tomorrow (Saturday 4, August 2018) and entrance is free! A myriad of activities await spectators and fans that include an elaborate display and test drive of Toyota’s fleet of new vehicles, stage games, promotional activities, lucky draws and a Superfans Signing Session for a chance to mingle with the celebrity drivers.