UMW Toyota Motor today launched the Vios Challenge, a one-make race parked under the Toyota Gazoo Racing umbrella. Toyota’s motorsports activities mainly come under Toyota Gazoo Racing, be it the World Rally Championship (WRC), World Endurance Championship (WEC), 24-Hour Nurburgring, Dakar Rally or even the Vios Challenge.
The Vios Challenge signals the official arrival of Toyota Gazoo Racing to Malaysia (there are already Toyota one-make races in Thailand and Philippines). As the name suggests, participants will drive identical race-prepared Toyota Vios J (manual) over a series of 4 races run on street circuits in Kuala Lumpur (2 races), Penang and Johor.
The race is open to 30 drivers who are holders of a valid racing license issued by AAM. But to race, you will need to first buy the Vios Challenge race car which is made race-ready with TRD (Toyota Racing Development) kit which include the clutch and LSD, suspension, brake pads, wheels and tires as well as a roll cage. The car costs RM 90,000 and besides including the TRD parts and engineering and testing, also includes a set of FIA-approved racing suit and 6 sessions of racing school training for novice drivers. The racing school sessions will be conducted in May.
The engine and gearbox are left untouched as Toyota doesn’t want to change the dynamics of the car too much; it still produces about 10% more power than the standard road version. Besides, this is a one-make race so every car is on equal footing and it’s All About The Drive. We had a chance to go around the Sepang Circuit in this Vios and it feels fun to drive after it’s been equipped with the TRD kit. Anyway, it’s always better to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Racing Festival i.e. the 4 races (first one will start in August 2017), will have a very carnival atmosphere over the race weekend, with games and activities for the whole family, including entertainment and food.
The race management and car modifications for the Vios Challenge are done by Wing Hin Motorsports with assistance from TRD Japan. The Vios Challenge is also supported by Toyo Tyres, Denso Malaysia, Enkei Malaysia, Moty’s Hyper Lubricant Technology, Drive M7 Energy Drinks and Toyota Capital Services.