Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Season 6 kicks off – new faces in the racing series, prize money close to RM1mil –

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival is now into Season 6, with the racing programme having kicked off its first round over the weekend at the Sepang International Circuit. The 2023 racing calendar for the racing series will see three rounds (making for a total of six races) of the GR Vios Challenge being held, with a grid of new faces and young drivers competing for honours.

The calendar will also include involvement in the national racing series with the continuation of the GR Vios Sprint Cup in the Malaysia Championship Series (two rounds, with four races) and the running of the GR Vios Enduro Cup at the Sepang 1000 km (S1K) endurance race as the racing season finale.

In the GR Vios Challenge, racing will again be divided into four classes, these being the Promotional Class for local celebrities; the Super Sporting Class for elite and professional drivers; the Sporting Class for amateur and gentlemen drivers, and the Rookie Class for young drivers.

Drivers will compete for a prize pool that is close to a million ringgit, with RM70,000 and RM50,000 going to the overall champion of the Super Sporting and Sporting class champions. The company said that in the past five seasons, the race series has successfully attracted more than 15 million spectators and online viewers.

The format of a one-make series in the GR Vios Challenge remains unchanged with Rounds 2 and 3 taking place in June and September. Meanwhile, the races for the GR Vios Sprint Cup, which is run independent of the Vios Challenge, are scheduled for May and June, in tandem with the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS).

As for the GR Vios Enduro Cup, the brand will again be challenging for the overall S1K honors. Having raced to a historic 1-2 overall victory in the nine-hour race last year, it will be looking to defend the title again this November.

Among the drivers competing in the GR Vios Challenge are Hayden Haikal, who returns for his sixth straight season to compete in the Super Sporting Class with the aim of defending the title he won last year, and Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel, who will be attempting to take home his fourth Class title.

Meanwhile, the Promotional Class for local celebrities will see half the grid made up of new faces. They will include professional ten-pin bowler and Ratu Ten Pin drama actress Syaidatul Afifah; actor, television host and Hot FM radio presenter Imran Aqil; actor and host Ezzrin Loy; actor, host and television personality Hefsy Sahad and actress/model Reen Rahim.

Rejoining the grid this season will be former Promotional Class overall champion and actor Shukri Yahaya; actor Zizan Razak; actress and television personality Ahirine Ahirudin as well as television personality Ain Edruce.

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