The extension of the second nationwide (except Sarawak) movement control order has claimed a victim in the motorsports scene. Distributor UMW Toyota Motor has announced that it will postpone Round 1 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Season 4, which was due to be held from January 28 to 30.
It also said that it has not decided on a finalised replacement date, presumably due to the still-high rate of daily coronavirus cases and the possibility of another extension of the order. The company added that it is working closely with government agencies and monitoring the country’s recovery from the disease to find the right time to kick off the season, which it hoped to do soon.
“As we collectively continue to help flatten the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic, we recognise and acknowledge the unprecedented toll that it has inflicted on the nation. The race will and must go on – but not until we can together successfully mitigate the threat of COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all racers, participating teams, officials, spectators and stakeholders,” said deputy chairman and Gazoo Racing Malaysia chief motorsport officer Akio Takeyama.
Season 4 will see the addition of the Gazoo Racing Vios Sprint Cup and Gazoo Racing Enduro Cup to complement the existing Toyota Vios Challenge, with a total of 11 races set to be held. There will also be a new Rookie Class in the Vios Challenge for drivers aged 14 to 20, while a Gazoo Racing School has been established for these up-and-coming racers.
It’s not the first time the Gazoo Racing Festival has been disrupted by the pandemic. Last year, UMW Toyota cancelled the final round of Season 3 due to the commencement of the first movement control order.
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