Heavy rain delays Vios Challenge and gets a rolling-start

By JAY WONG | 12 August 2017

BATU KAWAN: The first round of the three-part Vios Challenge race series became a tricky circuit following an afternoon of heavy rain - some of which were participating for the first time in a motor racing event.

The two scheduled races for the day were delayed by the race director for safety reasons to the delight of some 10,755 spectators who found entertainment at the Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) racing festival held on the fringes of
the Batu Kawan Stadium.

The Sporting category featuring 16 race-ready Toyota Vios cars were the first to be allowed out on the wet track, which had pole-sitter #10 Ken Foo at the head of the pack being lead by a Toyota Camry safety car for one lap in a rolling-start before racing could begin.

Following closely behind Ken was Dream Chaser's #86 Brendon Lim and the pair slowly pulled away from the rest.

Vios Challenge - 02 Sporting Category
As the 1.65km circuit slowly began to dry out, the pace improved by lap eight and the top 10 drivers were beginning to clock consistent 1 minute 26 second lap times.

On lap 11, the #17 car of Teoh Khai Lin carried too much speed into turn seven and unfortunately nudged the #22 car of Dream Chaser’s Eric Yong in fourth position and sent him into the barriers.

The incident brought out the safety car for three laps and once racing resumed, it was a sprint to the finish with just a lap remaining after the race had taken up the scheduled 25-minute duration.

Taking first place was Ken, followed by Brendon and Patrick Tam Wei Han in the #13 Team Maxx 'N Go car.

Next up was the Promotional category which had pole-sitter Shawn Lee in car #6 starting behind the pace car and maintained the lead during the first lap, while #9 Fattah Amin fell to third place as #24 Shukri Yahaya snuck in on the inside of turn one.

Meanwhile, before the end of the first lap, #19 Venice Min managed to gain to sixth place thanks to a strong start.

By lap eight, Shawn had managed to open up a two-second gap to Shukri as Fattah kept applying pressure from behind until lap 10 where Venice clipped a kerb at the exit of turn nine, causing a slow deflation of her front right tyre.

At turn 11, Venice's deflated tyre caused her to nudge #18 Jannah Nick  - sending both both drivers into the barriers and subsequently retirement as the safety car was quickly deployed.

After the safety car peeled off into the pit lane, Fattah attempted an overtaking manoeuvre by diving on the inside of Shukri.

Instead, Fattah clipped a kerb and bumped into Shukri, braking a wheel in the process and was forced to retire - opening the door for #23 Danny Koo to take third place after completing all 16 laps.

The first race of the Super Sporting category will begin tomorrow (Sunday) and will feature pole-sitter Tengku Djan ahead of Mark Darwin who will be defending against Shafiq Ali.