We’d like to say the roar of the Vios Challenge racecars returns to where it all began; Penang, this weekend but they hardly make enough of a howl. So, instead we’ll go with the screeching of the tyres around the street circuit specially laid out at the Batu Kawan Stadium.
The first ever Vios Challenge and Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival held in the country was held at this venue and after a hiatus for the location in Season 2, the entire extravaganza returns to its inaugural venue for Round 3 of Season 3.
The penultimate race will be flagged off this coming 15-16 February 2020 weekend and will be filled with plenty of racing action around the tight circuit as all three categories are still up for the taking.
It also marks the last street circuit for the season before the final round heads to the Sepang International Circuit in April. Race 1 was held in Kuala Terengganu while Race 2 returned to the Klang Valley at Bandar Malaysia.
“Penang can essentially make or break a driver’s championship campaign this season. For some, it will be the last chance to capitalise on their experience competing on a street circuit and hopefully build an almost unassailable lead in the championship. For others, it will be about fighting to narrow the gap in order to keep their championship hopes alive, enough to cause an upset when the racing moves to a permanent circuit,” said Akio Takeyama; arguably an industry captain with the coolest title in the country, as the Chief Motorsports Officer of Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia.
After sitting out Season 2, Malaysia’s Drift King Tengku Djan Ley returned with a different team to retain his Super Sporting championship and is on course to do just that with 36 points. Laser Motor’s Mark Darwin is eight points behind with Kenny Lee a further point adrift.
The entire automotive journalism industry is rooting for one of our own as Zerotohundred’s Tom Goh of S&D Tama Motorsports leads the Sporting class with 28 points. Haji Sutan Mustaffa Salihin is right on his tail, just two points behind.
Last but certainly not the least in terms of support is the Promotional class. Presenter and comedian Nabil Ahmad leads the charge ahead of Season 1 champion Shawn Lee. Singer Khai Bahar is third. Rounding out the grid for Penang are Diana Danielle, Janna Nick, Shukri Yahaya, Nabila Razali, Wany Hasrita, Syafiq Kyle and Ain Edruce.
As always, there’ll be plenty of activities for the family if the racing doesn’t shift your gears. New Toyota models will be on display for test drives while Toyo Tires returns with its drift demo. You’ll also keep occupied with the racing simulator challenge, stage games, celebrity performances, promotional activities, lucky draws, merchandise sale and a autograph session with the Promotional Class drivers.
Lest we forget, the GR Supra will be on display as well but no test drives for that. You can however feast your eyes on the A90 Supra in Super GT trim as a teaser for the upcoming Malaysian round of the Super GT Championship at the Sepang International Circuit in July.
Art of Speed will be holding a retro showcase while a fully restored 1968 Toyota KE10 model will be displayed and should be quite the visual feast.
The TGR Festival gets underway from 9am on Saturday, 15 February 2020. Entrance is free.