At the recently concluded Sepang 1000 KM Endurance Race (S1K), three Toyotas finished in the top 5 overall positions after an extraordinarily challenging and nerve-racking 9 hours at the Petronas Sepang International Circuit.
Victory for the Toyota brand this time was handed by former Gazoo Racing rookies Amer Harris and Nabil Azlan who drove for UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) dealer Wing Hin Motorsports. The team brought their Yaris across the finish line with a total of 169 laps completed – 5 laps clear of their nearest rival.
Defending S1K champions, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia team of Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel and Naquib Azlan in the Vios drove to a heroic third place.
The accomplishment of 3 Toyota cars in the top 5 overall standings is a repeat of the positions taken by the brand in the 2022 edition of S1K and marks the third successive year the Toyota brand has been represented on the podium since it joined in 2021.
Also read: Toyota Vios aims to defend champion title in 2023's edition of the Sepang 1000 KM endurance race this weekend
Only 58 of the 77 cars in the starting grid completed the race. Toyota scored another remarkable achievement of having all 13 Toyotas – 11 Vios and 2 Yaris – finish the race without a single retirement.
“To have Toyota cars on the podium for three consecutive years of the S1K, including winning two overall victories, certainly makes it the icing on the cake. Reliability has been the hallmark of Toyota with the brand progressively transitioning into performance driven by its achievements in motorsports globally and on the local front,” said UMW Toyota Motor President Datuk Ravindran K.
“Both the Yaris and Vios have endured three years of trials and tribulations on the track and emerged triumphant, and this is testament of the models’ true capability and Toyota’s commitment to build ever-better cars for our customers.”
Six years of racing in the GR Vios Challenge; three years in the GR Vios Sprint Cup; and an 11th in Class finish in 2021; overall victory in 2022; and 3rd in this year’s S1K is also a fitting conclusion for the previous generation Vios which hands its racing baton to the 4th generation (AC100) Vios that will be making its debut in season 7 of the GR Vios Challenge in 2024.
Also read: The 4th generation Toyota Vios AC100 race car for the Gazoo Racing Vios Challenge still has a CVT but not for long
Meanwhile, in the GAZOO Racing Vios Enduro Cup which ran as an individual class within the race, Axle Sports’ trio of Tse Kah Hing, Mikko Nassi and Wu Hin Lun won the race to clinch a purse of RM10,000.
Finishing 2nd,1 lap down and for RM8,000 was Race Rally KL’s Shafiq Samsudin, Ahmad Nadzrie and Kelvin Yap, while in 3rd was the 23 Motors pair of Abdul Miqail and Amir Mirza who took home prize monies totalling RM6,000. A total of 10 cars in the class started the race with all 10 completing the 9-hour and 1000KM challenge.