UMW Toyota launches TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival and Vios Challenge race carPOSTED BY Raja Danielle ON 10 April 2017
With a proud history in various motorsport series such as the World Endurance Championship, F1 Grand Prix and World Rally Championship, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) created TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to consolidate all its motorsport activities under one roof.
UMW Toyota recently introduced TOYOTA GAZOO Racing at Sepang International Circuit and simultaneously launched the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival in Malaysia.
The company also took the opportunity to unveil the Vios Challenge race car and announced the participation of eight Malaysian A-list celebrity racers in a one-make race series.
The Vios Challenge will see 30 drivers battling door-to-door in identical race cars with races taking place on specially-created street circuits in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor.
The race series is developed along similar lines to that of the Toyota One Make Race established in Thailand and the Philippines. The race formula has already become a runaway success in these countries, where fans come on race weekends to catch all the excitement on track and to soak in the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding the event.
Speaking at the launch, president of UMW Toyota Motor Ravindran Kurusamy said, “The Vios Challenge provides the ideal platform to elevate the sporty image of the car and creates fresh interest in the sport.”
Meanwhile, Akio Takeyama, deputy chairman of UMW Toyota Motorsaid, the participation of eight local celebrities in the series will add glamour and excitement to the event.
Eager to participate in the race? Anyone who holds a national racing license issued by the AAM and owns a Vios Challenge racing car will be eligible to do so.
The Vios Challenge race car
The Vios Challenge race car is based on the manual transmission 1.5 J variant that is assembled in UMW Toyota’s manufacturing facility in Shah Alam. The car is then prepared by a highly-respected Toyota dealer, Wing Hin Motorsports.
Besides a stripped-out interior, FIA-approved kits such as roll-cage, safety harness, fire extinguisher and MoTec digital display, the Vios is pretty much stock, as UMW does not want to alter the car’s dynamics too drastically.
To make it cope with the demands of racing, the car is fitted with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts consisting of TRD aerodynamic kit, TRD exhaust system, TRD clutch system and limited slip differential, TRD suspension system, TRD brake pads, TRD tower bar and lower brace bars, and 15-inch Enkei wheels fitted to sticky Toyo T1R tyres.
The race-spec Vios will cost RM90,000, inclusive of all the parts, a full FIA-approved racing suit and six sessions of racing school training for novice drivers.