Published on October 9th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
Dream Chaser and the Vios Challenge: Bringing Back Motorsport Together
Motorsports in Malaysia is tough. Decade after decade, we’re seeing tracks and events being dropped. To many, racing on a professional or semi-professional level is too unrealistic a goal to pursue. But to one team, the dream is still alive and worth fighting for.
Dream Chaser consists of people who have been involved in motorsports for years. In 2014, they realised that younger people were becoming less and less involved in the field. It has been their mission to change that. For about 3 years now, Dream Chaser has been bringing in fresh blood to the motorsports scene.
Their primary responsibilities are providing new drivers with training, organised structure for a sustained race career as well as maintaining track-ready vehicles. They have a subsidy program and mentor system to bring down the barriers to entry into local motorsports. Parts of the business are also very investor-friendly, as the team helps race car owners to rent out their cars to amateurs.
Their program manager, CY Ong, has also been working hard to give less experienced racers more incentives to keep pushing themselves. After all, racing well costs time and money, if the top three teams are better funded and more experienced, even the most passionate drivers will lose steam. Dream Chaser have successfully pushed for new independant categories that reward talented newcomers within races like the Malaysian Championship Series (MCS).
Even then, sanctioned races like the MCS can be too much of a financial burden for new drivers. Fortunately, in 2017, the Toyota One Make Race Series was initiated, and with it the Vios Challenge.
The Vios Challenge is a perfect fit for Dream Chaser. Toyota themselves have stepped up to subsidise a great amount of cost by supplying race-ready cars and hosting the event. And since the cars are kept identical, it’s really up to the drivers to learn the limits of their vehicles and to know how to navigate the track.
This has allowed the Dream Chaser team to shine. Their investment in data analytics and their partnership with professional racers like Mark Darwin allows them to pinpoint mistakes made and systematically improve how newcomers drive. This combination of data and experience is essential to teaching a physical skill or sport.
In time, they’ll be adding even more world-class drivers to their list of successful candidates. Thanks to the Vios Challenge, Dream Chaser now has the kind of mainstream visibility they’ve been working towards.
Around 30,000 spectators were present at the inaugural Vios Challenge race in August. Without a doubt, by the end of the 4-race season, a generation of young Malaysians will have learnt that racing and motorsports is all about the drive, not about the costs and barriers involved. Dream Chaser will be there to develop those who want to be a part of this exciting field.