Toyota Vios aims to defend champion title in 2023's edition of the Sepang 1000 KM endurance race this weekend
Sanjay · Nov 23, 2023 01:20 PM
Toyota returns to the 2023 Sepang 1000 KM Endurance Race (S1K) seeking to not only defend the overall title it won last year but aiming to complete a hat trick of podium finishes since it joined the annual prestigious event in 2021.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia will field its sole entry and S1K defending champions Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel and Naquib Azlan behind the wheel of the 2022 winning Toyota Vios in the MTC Class.
The race takes place from today, Friday 23-November 2023 and runs all the way to Sunday, 26-November. S1K is a 4-wheel endurance race of 1,000km or around 172 laps the track.
Toyota will also be represented by two Yaris’ fielded by dealer team Wing Hin Motorsports in the MTC Class driven by Boy Wong and former Gazoo Racing Rookie Class driver Amer Harris.
“Both the Vios and Yaris have proven to be strong contenders in what is undoubtedly an extremely grueling race. Over and above the racing achievements, what is more important to us is that it has underlined the respective model’s durability, reliability, and handling in the most challenging of conditions,” said UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. President, Datuk Ravindran K.
“S1K will also see the running of the third Gazoo Racing (GR) Vios Enduro Cup within the S1K’s SP 2 Class. This event has evolved to become a very popular season finale for drivers already competing in the GR Vios Challenge and GR Vios Sprint Cup."
Like previous years, the GR Vios Enduro Cup continues to attract both a pool of experienced and young drivers, and this year’s entry not only include teenage drivers, but also a father and son pair, a team comprising of husband and wife, as well as several lady drivers.”
In the SP2 Class and GR Vios Enduro Cup, a total of 11 cars will be competing. Top contenders to look out for include the Axle Sports pair of Alister Yoong who will pair up with 2023 Vios Challenge Rookie class champion Ariff Azmi.
A definite favourite will be 23 Motors’ Abdul Miqail and Amir Mirza, both also regular contenders in the GR Vios Challenge. Abdul Miqail was the winner of the GR Vios Enduro Cup in 2022 and finished third in 2021. 23 Motors that clinched the top two positions last year, will also be fielding a second car helmed by Daniel Haqeem Azwan.
The GR Vios Enduro Cup will also see the debut for the father and son team of Shanmuganathan Arumugam and Ashen Shanmuganathan; the husband and wife pair of Shafiq Samsudin (and Shasha Shafie; and two other lady drivers Adele Lew - another Gazoo Racing Rookie Class driver - and Nurul Auni Nasharuddin.
The first place winner in the GR Vios Enduro Cup is in the running for RM10,000 cash, followed by RM8,000 for the second place winner; RM6,000 for the third place winner; RM4,000 (4th placing); and RM2,000 (5th place winner).
“We (Tengku Djan and I) were fifth fastest in qualifying in 2021 but we failed to finish the race. To move on from this disappointment to eventually win the overall race last year was certainly a fantastic result for the team, more so since we also started from pole position and going on to cross the finish line 6.2 seconds ahead our nearest rival."
"The MTC Class has always been super competitive and we expect it to be no different this year, but with the right package and strategy this year, we hope we can go on to successfully defend the title,” said Naquib.
“Of course we are looking to defend the title – no question about that but it’s about maximising everything we have, and not coming into this year’s race expecting to win just because we managed to do it last year.
To be honest we haven’t been able to do as much testing as we would’ve liked compared to some of our competitors but we’re confident of our chances and we have a lot of data from the previous two years to fall back on. We hope to be fighting at the top step but the most important is that we focus on ourselves and not be too carried away by what the competitors are doing of fielding," declared Naquib.
For more information, log on to the UMW Toyota Motor (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd website at www.toyota.com.my
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.