|The current active one-make Series, the Vios Challenge embarks on the second half of the season, heading to the southern State of Johor for round three.|
With plenty of points still up for grabs and no runaway leader in sight, the challenge is going to be epic when the flag drops on 19-20 January at the new urban township circuit provided by venue partner Medini City, Iskandar Puteri.
By nature of its street racing format where each circuit layout is completely new to every driver and the fact that each Toyota Vios racing car is built equal, drivers have only their skills and derring-do to depend on as they try to out pace their fellow competitors. This formula has been an overwhelming success as witnessed in two opening rounds held in Batu Kawan and MAEPS Serdang where there were plenty of heart-stopping moments and nail-biting finishes.
While the early races in the Promotional Class were dominated by beatboxer Shawn Lee, a rare mistake in the last race in MAEPS saw him spin out on the opening lap. Shukri Yahaya who was well-placed to capitalize, pounced on the opportunity to seize a popular victory. The brilliant win moved Shukri just five points behind Shawn while heartthrob Danny Koo holds third a mere 14 points adrift. All these drivers have the mathematical chance to emerge as the champion as does Diana Danielle, the first lady to stand on the Vios Challenge podium who is poised in 4th position.
In the Sporting Class, the action was no less hotter as the race in the capital city saw new faces on the top step of the podium for both the heats. Newcomer Brendan Anthony enjoyed a dream debut by putting his Dream Chaser team car on pole and taking it to its maiden win. In the second heat, it was Patrick Tam of Team Nanoplus who turned the tables on the youngster by taking his first win in the series.
With consistent finishes in Batu Kawan and MAEPS, Brandon Lim of Tedco Racing now leads the series with 57 points and holds a ten-point advantage over Ken Foo who struggled to find pace in KL. Tam is a further point behind with Kenneth Koh, Brendan Anthony and Jackson Tan all within striking distance should any of the top runners falter.
In the premier Super Sporting Category, the field is even tighter with seven drivers separated by a 20-point gap. Tengku Djan still enjoys the lead in the championship despite claiming just nine points from the Serdang race but the pack made up of Mitchell Cheah, William Ho, Mark Darwin, Shafiq Ali, Boy Wong and Ser Ming Hui have a mathematical chance of dethroning the Prince of Drift particularly on the faster and wider circuit in Medini City.
As rain is again expected, the conditions will remain tricky and challenging and promises to bring even more excitement to the event. As always, entrance to the Toyota Racing Festival remains free and activities begin from early till evening.