THE Vios Challenge One-Make Race originally started as the highlight of the Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival. Besides the racing, there was also other activities for the whole family, including an opportunity to experience the latest Toyota models.
Unfortunately, restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the event could not be held with public attendance, and the Vios Challenge was also restricted only to participants.
Now with restrictions lifted, it is possible for events such as the Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival to be held again and “The People’s Race”, as UMW Toyota Motor refers to it, will be on again during the weekend of June 25/26 at the Sepang International Circuit.
Entrance free but register first
The weekend festival (entrance is free) will be bigger than ever before with lots of activities, including concerts and lots of food and drink for visitors when they get hungry and hot.
Those who wish to attend must first register at the Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia website (https://toyota.com.my/tgrmalaysia/) to gain access at the circuit.
Currently into its fifth season/year, the Vios Challenge has become well known for its wheel-to-wheel racing because all the Toyota Vios cars are prepared identically with the same performance levels.
Therefore it is all about driver skill, experience and strategy rather than just who has the most powerful car.
It is the most lucrative motorsports event in the country, with more than RM500,000 in prize money offered.
Vios Challenge in Season 5
Season 5 of the Vios Challenge has 3 rounds with a total of 6 races; Round 1 was run recently and Round 3 will be held in September.
In 4 seasons of the Vios Challenge so far, more than 8 million spectators and online viewers have followed the races, and social media reach has exceeded 19 million, making it one of the most viewed domestic motor-racing events.
Besides young drivers, amateurs and professionals taking part, there are also local celebrities who have a category of their own to race in.
For this season, the Season 4 champion and actor Shukri Yahaya is among them along with Zizan Razak, Nabil Ahmad, Janna Nick, Wany Hasrita, Nabila Razali, Khai Bahar, Ahirine Ahiruddin, and Ain Edruce.
It has always been Toyota’s objective from the onset to contribute to and bring about greater excitement in Malaysian motorsports.
“The Vios Challenge continues to evolve every year since we started the series in 2017. We established and until today, retain the format of a one-make series to make it affordable and accessible for those who want to compete,” said Ravindran K, President of UMW Toyota Motor.
New blood for motorsport
“To attract more new and young drivers to drive at a competitive level, we have even invested in the GAZOO Racing Young Driver Development Programme to enable those between the ages of 15 and 20 to transition into saloon car racing from karting or simulator racing, and we have even introduced a Rookie Class for young drivers in the Vios Challenge race,” he added.
For those who are unable to race but still want to be intimately involved in the Vios Challenge, there is the GAZOO Racing Dream Team TGR Fantasy Game.
This is a racing platform where players sign up and compete against each other by creating their very own TGR Dream Team of racers they think will perform best throughout the season.
Participants will have to select 3 drivers from each of the 4 classes of racing, and their team will accumulate or lose points based on the real racing results throughout the 3 rounds in Season 5.
The player with the most number of points will be declared the winner at the end of the season for a chance to win attractive prizes.
The ‘People’s Race’
“This is what we mean by the ‘People’s Race’ – it is not only intended to change the dynamics of local motor racing, but it is also a festival to celebrate the people and hopefully entice them to learn, understand and appreciate motorsports as we do with traditional sporting events such as football and badminton,” Ravindran added.
For those who are too far away or unable to go to the venue, the weekend’s racing action and stage performances will also be streamed live on the Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia website and the Toyota Malaysia and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Malaysia Facebook pages.