BANDAR Malaysia, located at the current Sungai Besi Airport (formerly known as the Royal Malaysian Air Force base) witnessed last weekend the fastest street racing action so far in three seasons of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge.
At 1.96km, the purpose-built (and FIA-approved)!) race track there was one of the fastest and longest ever constructed for the series. It featured 20 corners and two long straights, the longest being 600 meters.
Higher speeds however, also meant a higher attrition rate with a number of drivers forced into early retirement after colliding with the concrete barrier.
The two-day race weekend saw more than 10,000 spectators attending it, watching for the first time a saloon car race in Malaysia organised at an airport, and the action on the high-speed track did not disappoint with exciting close racing action from start to finish in all three classes of racing – Sporting Class, Super Sporting Class and Promotional Class.
On Saturday, the class for amateur drivers saw S&D Tama Motorsports’ Tom Goh racing to his first victory of the season ahead of Crestmax Motorsports’ Adam Khalid in second place. In third place was 15-year-old Hayden Haikal.
The following day’s race saw SMS Motorsports’ Sutan Mustaffa Salihin, 47, clinching victory ahead of 17-year-old Bradley Benedict Anthony of Dream Chaser and Dannies Ng in third position.
Super Sporting Class
In the class for the professionals, 23 Motors’ Tengku Djan Ley stormed to victory from pole position, finishing the 20-lap battle two seconds ahead of Laser Motor Racing’s Mark Darwin and Telegamas Toyota’s Freddie Ang in third place.
Sunday’s race saw Kegani Racing’s Kenny Lee finish from pole position to deny Tengku Djan of a double race victory, with Darwin finishing third.
In the class for celebrities, beatboxer Shawn Lee made a text book start from pole position to win the 20-lap race ahead of actor Shukri Yahaya and comedian-presenter Nabil Ahmad who finished third.
Nabil got his revenge the next day when he catapulted from fourth on the grid to lead the race right to the chequered flag, with singers Khai Bahar and Nabila Razali trailing in second and third positions respectively.
*In each of the races (for all three categories), Saturday’s top six finishers start their races on the starting grid in reverse order.
UMW Toyota Motor’s chief motorsports officer Akio Takeyama, who finished fifth in the Promotional Class, said the track at Bandar Malaysia was extremely fast but a rewarding experience for all drivers competing in the series.
“The decision to hold Round 2* at Bandar Malaysia proved to be a rewarding experience, not only for the racers who enjoyed competing on a high speed and wider street track for the very first time, but also for Kuala Lumpur spectators due to its strategic location.”
*Round 1 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge was held on Sept 6-7 in Kuala Terengganu.
For race fans and spectators, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival featured Toyota’s fleet of vehicles, test drive sessions, a drift performance by professional Japanese drivers, a concert, a beyblade competition and racing simulator challenge, and the sale of merchandise.
Visitors to the festival were also able to get up close and personal with the newly-launched Toyota GR Supra.
Entrance was free of charge and the event was from 9am to 6pm on both days.