The 2019 Vios Challenge has hit the mid-season with Round 3 scheduled for the Batu Kawan stadium in Penang, from 23 – 24 February. The series which began last year is more than just racing, it is a weekend gathering for the family. Toyota Malaysia is showcasing the New Camry and Vios at the stadium, too. Series Tyre partner ToyoTires is pitting a couple of Japanese drifters to excite the crowd. And a fun run has also been planned for the people in attendance.
Racing action on the 1.56km Stadium Batu Kawan street circuit which features 11 corners and 6 straights, will see some 40 drivers competing in the Promotional, Sporting and Super Sporting classes for celebrities, amateurs and professionals respectively. Catch the star-studded line-up of celebrities who include Diana Danielle, Janna Nick, Nabil Ahmad, Khai Bahar, Akim Ahmad, Mohd Shukri Yahaya, Shawn Lee, Wany Hasrita, Nabila Razali and Aiman Tino in action on the track and on stage.
With three podium finishes in four races, all eyes will be on singer Akim Ahmad as he takes on the 1.56km Batu Kawan track for the very first time. Akim has been the most consistent drivers in the Promotional Class for celebrities, and despite keeping rather a low profile every race weekend, his race record so far stands at one race victory, two 2nd place finishes and a 4th place finish. He currently leads the overall point standings.
With the current line-up of celebrities competing in the Promotional Class, actressesDiana Danielle and Janna Nick so far hold the best record at Batu Kawan, finishing 4th and 5th respectively at the track in Season 1.
Diana already has one race win under her belt this season and together with Akim, will also be joined by celebrity presenter Nabil Ahmad and singer Aiman Tino who also have one race victory each to their credit.
Competing in the Sporting Class this season, celebrity beat boxer Shawn Lee will certainly be looking to repeat the double victory he achieved at Batu kawan in Season 1.
Season 2 began strongly for Lee. Despite being promoted into a new class where he now finds himself competing in a pool of amateur racers instead of fellow celebrities, Lee proved his critics wrong and had driven to his first ever pole position and race victory in Race 1, and finished 7th in Race 2 in Kuala Terengganu much to the surprise of the other competitors.
But, an early mistake during the free practice session in Round 2 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Selangor resulted in a severely damaged car that would see him missing the entire race weekend and failing to score any points to grow his presence in the series.
Fellow celebrity Mohd Shukri Yahaya, who has also earned a promotion into the Sporting Class, will also be looking to repeat last season’s commendable drive at Batu Kawan. He had finished second twice in Batu Kawan and it is one of his more favoured tracks in the series.
Mohd Shukri’s Season 2 has somewhat been a roller-coaster ride. His best result in four races so far is a 4th place finish at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Selangor
A clear favourite in the Sporting class and is expected to do well in Batu Kawan however, will be Kulim Top Wheels driver Dato’ Ken Foo who also holds the distinction of a double race victory at the track last season.
Also expecting to continue their strong momentum in the Series will be Panglima City Racing Team’s Kenneth Koh, Team Nanoplus driver Patrick Tam, ST Wangan Racing Team’s Eric Yong, Distinctive Model’s Clement Yeo and Tedco Racing’s Brendon Lim.
SUPER SPORTING CLASS
After 4 races in Season 2, the three most prominent names that continue to consistently dominate the series are undoubtedly William Ho, Boy Wong and Kenny Lee.
Heading to Batu Kawan, all three drivers have one race victory to their credit, but Wong is the only driver who has consistently finished all four races so far and has scored three podium finishes in the process. Wong so far has one race win, one 2nd place finish, one 3rd place finish and one 4th place finish to his credit and currently leads the overall point standings.
Comparing the three drivers, Ho has the best finish in Batu Kawan last season when he was placed 3rd, while Wong only managed a 6th placing and Lee an 8th placing.
Ho, who was crowned runner-up in the Super Sporting class last season, has so far accumulated one race win, two 2nd place finishes and one run-in with the concrete wall, while Lee too has one race win under his belt, one 3rd place finish, and like Ho, also one run-in with the concrete wall.
Meanwhile, climbing up the ranks from the Sporting to the Super Sporting class is Brendan Paul Anthony who has somewhat found his form over the last two races at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Selangor to score a 2nd and 3rd finish.