Considered one of the fastest and longest ever constructed, the 1.96km street-circuit featured 20 corners, two long straights (up to 600m) and a high rate of attrition with many drivers forced into early retirement from colliding with the concrete barriers.
The racers may have experienced a wet morning practice session but thankfully, the track managed to dry out just prior to the start of the races.
Those who did manage to cross the finish line meant that they were able to survive the gauntlet of 20 incident-riddled laps which brought out the safety car twice in the amateur racing group of the Sporting Class.
It was 23 Motors’ Mirza Syahmi Mahzan (Car 97) who led the opening stages of the race from pole position but his race weekend ruined due to a 15-second penalty for a start infringement before retiring later in the race.
Three laps into the race, Saksama Motorsports’ Ricky Tan (Car 71) drifted too wide going into a left-hander and collided with the barrier to end his race and brought out the safety car for three laps.
But the as soon as the safety car was brought out, it was quickly dispatched out again due to a second collision between Distinctive Model’s Clement Yeo (Car 98) and Panglima City Racing Team’s Kenneth Koh (77).
As the field of drivers settled into their paces, the race ended on the 20th lap with S&D Tama Motorsports’ Tom Goh (Car 33) racing to his first victory of the season, followed by Crestmax Motorsports’ Adam Khalid (car 28) in second and 15-year-old Hayden Haikal (Car 81) in third for S&D Motorsports.
In the professional category of the Super Sporting Class, it was 23 Motorsports' Tengku Djan Ley (Car 23) and Laser Motor Racing’s Mark Darwin (Car 63) who set the pace and were locked in a private battle at the front of the pack.
Neighbouring the battle down the line was Telegamas Toyota’s Freddie Ang (Car 3) and Toyotsu Racing’s William Ho (Car 39) who engaged each other for third place.
At the end of the 20-lap race, it was none other than Tengku Djan who managed to race to victory from pole position to finish two seconds ahead of Darwin in second while Ang settled for third.
Unopposed was the way racing went for the celebrity category of the Promotional Class.
Beatboxer Shawn Lee (Car 6) made a textbook start from pole position with actor Shukri Yahya (Car 24) and presenter Nabil Ahmad (Car 83) following closely to break away from the rest of the pack.
Halfway through on lap-10, the earlier gains of the top three racers were slashed due to actor Syafiq Kyle (Car 88) slamming into the wall to put the race under safety car conditions.
As racing finally got underway, the top three drivers pulled away from the pack once again.
At the fall of the chequered flag to mark the end of racing for the day, it was Lee who finished 2.2 seconds ahead of Shukri in second while Nabil took third, actress Diana Danielle (Car 15) in fourth and Khai Bahar in fifth (Car 94).
Sixth place went to singer Nabila Razali (Car 92) who jostled with fellow singer Wany Hasrita (Car 8) for almost 16 laps while model Ain Edruce (Car 9) finished in eighth after having started in 10th place due to a run-in with the wall during the qualifying session.
Race 2 continues tomorrow with the top six finishers lining up on the starting grid in reverse order.
For race fans and spectators, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival will showcase Toyota’s fleet of vehicles, test drive sessions, a drift performance by professional Japanese drivers, a concert, a bey blade and racing simulator challenge, and the sale of merchandise.
Visitors to the festival will also be able to get up close and personal with the newly-launched Toyota GR Supra.
Entrance is free of charge and the event runs from 9.00am to 6.00pm.
RESULTS: RACE 1PROMOTIONAL
1. Shawn Lee
2. Shukri Yahaya
3. Nabil Ahmad
4. Diana Danielle
5. Khai Bahar
1. Tom Goh S&D Tama Motorsports
2. Adam Khalid Crestmax Motorsports
3. Hayden Haikal S&D Motorsports
4. Bradley Benedict Dream Chaser
5. Vincent Ng Team Fokus Tetap
1. Tengku Djan Ley 23 Motors
2. Mark Darwin Laser Motor Racing
3. Freddie Ang Telagamas Toyota
4. William Ho Toyotsu Racing
5. Brendon Lim Tedco Racing