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KUALA LUMPUR, 25 March — Top positions for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Vios Challenge Championship titles are still wide open, and although the current leaders in the three hotly-contested categories have clear leads, the final two races that are to be held today at the Technology Park Malaysia will carry points that can swing the title from the current leaders to others who are close enough behind.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Challenge is run over four rounds, but in each round there are two races held back to back, which means that if you have something major happening to your car or to you in the first of the two races in each round, it can cost you plenty in terms of points.
The following are the points awarded according to the finish position in each race:-
First Position :20 points
Second position: 15 points
Third position: 12 points
Fourth Position: 10 points
Fifth position: 8 points
Sixth position: 6 points
Seventh position: 4 points
Eighth position: 3 points
Ninth Position: 2 points
Tenth Position: 1 points
In addition, any car in pole position will get an additional 1 point, and so does achieving the fastest lap during the race.
In the Promotional class, Shawn Lee is in a very strong position, with an 18 point lead over Mohd Shukri Yahya who is trailing in second position with 95 points. In a distant third place lies Danny Koo with only 51 points. In this class, it is only between Shawn and Shukri. Even if Shawn and Shukri do not race at all, and Danny wins both races today, he can only make 91 points, which is still below Shukri’s 95 points.
In the case of Shukri and Shawn, Shawn needs 26 points to ensure a win, if Shukri wins the next two races and gets all the bonus points. For this, Shawn needs to win one race, and then he can afford to cruise home to finish sixth to clinch the title. Although it is technically possible for Shukri, he has a gigantic task ahead.
For the first race today, Shukri Yahya is in pole position with a qualifying time of 1:18:268, 0.440 seconds faster than second position Shawn Lee. Strategically, Shawn only has to trail Shukri Yahya home in both races to win.
In the Sporting Class, Car number 86, Brendon Lim, leads Brendan Paul Anthony by 4 points. Brendon Lim has 75 to Brendan P Anthony’s 71. With only 4 points separating them and a possible 40 to be garnered today, it is still open, technically, even up to 7th position Jackson Tan who is sitting on 42 points. In sixth is Wong Chin Eng with 45 points, fifth is Patrick Tam with 46 points, while Ken Foo is in fourth position with 51 points. The main fight is between Brendon Lim and Brendon Paul Anthony though, with Kenneth Koh sitting in third ready to pounce if anything happens to the front two. Anyway, in racing, anything can happen.
For today’s first race, Brendan Paul Anthony has clinched pole with a time of 1:17.910, followed by Brendon Lim with a time of 1:18.107 (+0.197 seconds). In third place is Patrick Tam, another two thousandths of a second behind.
In the even more hotly-contested Super Sporting Class, four points separate Tengku Djan Ley and William Ho. Djan has 76 points to William’s 72, while Syafiq Ali is another 12 points behind at 60 points. The permutations are endless, so the best thing any one of the three can do is to drive their hearts out for the first race, and then reassess and strategize for the last race of the day. Tengku Djan is the driver with an advantage at the moment on account of him being in the lead, but the slim margin means he still has to be on his toes. However, all the top three know that they cannot afford a DNF (Did Not Finish) or any mechanical failure today.
After official qualifying today, Tengku Djan will start 7th on the grid today, as a result of suffering a mechanical failure when he missed a gearshift and over-revved the engine, while William Ho has pole. Syafiq Ali is in 6th spot, and it will be interesting to see if he can hold Tengku Djan back today. Without a doubt Tengku Djan will be going all out, but then so will the others.
Today is going to be an exciting day! Stay tuned.