RACE Two of the Toyota Vios Challenge produced a series of many firsts, with 15-year-old Hayden Haikal storming to his second race victory and his first-ever win in the Sporting Class on the 1.65km street circuit of the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
“I’m extremely happy with the win because Kuala Terengganu is a very challenging track. I don’t really enjoy this track because there’s hardly any opportunity to overtake here, but thankfully everything fell into place today,” said Hayden, who finished the race ahead of Hiewa Racing Team’s Wong Chin Eeg and Panglima City Racing’s Kenneth Koh.
Kuala Terengganu was also the venue where Hayden made his debut in the Toyota Vios Challenge last season.
“After overtaking, I tried to build a gap on Chin Eeg, pace myself and focus on not making any mistakes, especially in the corners.”
Chin Eeg said: “Hayden was a lot quicker on the track and as soon as I made a mistake I saw him beside me. I then decided to back off and let him through. It would not have benefited either of of us had our cars come together.”
Rain in the late afternoon made it an uneventful race for the Promotional Class with the start of the race being delayed for 30 minutes before resuming behind the safety car.
The wet conditions, however, turned out to be in favour of singer Wany Hasrita, who stormed to victory. In second place was fellow singer Nabila Razali, also making her first appearance on the podium, followed by actor Shukri Yahaya in third position.
“The wet conditions made the race twice as difficult but I did my best to keep my cool and avoid making any mistakes. The track was slippery and that meant having to pick an earlier braking point at the corners,” said Wany, who started from pole position.
Except for Brendon Lim, who dropped from fourth position on the grid to eighth, and Brendan Anthony, who lost one place, all the drivers in the Super Sporting Class maintained their track positions from start to finish in the 22-lap race.
Toyotsu Racing’s William Ho led from start to finish, with Telagamas Toyota’s Freddie Ang taking second place some 1.93 seconds behind, and Kenny Lee of Kegani Racing completing the top three a further two seconds adrift.
While it is always difficult for any competitor to overtake on a narrow street track, William found that leading the race also placed a degree of pressure.
“Freddie was very close to me and I tried my best to pull away but that proved to be very difficult and I tried my best to stay composed and not hit the concrete barrier.
“It was a question of maintaining my pace, not pushing too hard and finishing the race to score valuable championship points,” said William.
The excitement of the two-day event was not only confined to the action and drama on the track, but included the display and test drive of Toyota’s fleet of new vehicles, a drift performance by Japanese drifters courtesy of Toyo Tires, a racing simulator challenge, stage games and celebrity performances, promotional activities, lucky draws, the sale of merchandise, and a Superfans Signing Session where fans had the opportunity to mingle with celebrities racing in the Promotional Class.
Promotional class: 1 Wany Hasrita, 2 Nabila Razali, 3 Shukri Yahaya, 4 Shawn Lee, 5 Diana Danielle;
Sporting class: 1 Hayden Haikal (S&D Motorsports), 2 Wong Chin Eeg (Hiewa Racing Team), 3 Kenneth Koh (Panglima City Racing), 4 Kenneth Foo (Kulim Topwheels), 5 Haji Sutan (Mustaffa);
Super sporting class: 1 William Ho (Toyotsu Racing), 2 Freddie Ang (Telagamas Toyota), 3 Kenny Lee (Kegani Racing), 4 Tengku Djan (Ley 23 Motors), 5 Boy Wong (ST Wangan).