Published on November 21st, 2019 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Akio Takeyama to Race in S1K in a Race-Prepped Toyota Vios
UMW Toyota Motor’s Deputy Chairman and Chief Motorsports Officer, Akio Takeyama is set to compete in this weekend’s Sepang 1,000km (S1K). He will be piloting Car 39 under Team Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia colours in his maiden endurance race.
The car, along with another Vios, will compete in the premier MTC class for modified production cars below 1,600 cc using TRD race-prepped engines prepared by Wing Hin Motorsports at their own facility in Balakong, Selangor.
Buoyed by the team’s impressive performance in the 2018 event where a Vios driven by the pairing of Boy Wong and William Ho scored a remarkable podium finish, Wing Hin Motorsports Principal Simon Loh is confident that the cars will be among the front runners again in this year’s event.
“With the valuable data collected from last year’s event, the new parts we have secured through our collaboration with TRD and the immense experience of former Toyota GAZOO Racing development driver Akira Iida who will drive for us this year, I believe that we have the package to be competitive once again this year,” said Loh.
The Sepang 1,000-km race has been the crown jewel of the Malaysian circuit racing calendar with a starting grid of some 70 cars based on production models available in Malaysia. The race on the 5.45km circuit will take over eight hours to complete with the top cars expected to clock over 180 laps.
Bringing his valuable experience to the team this year will be Japanese touring car legend Akira Iida, who has six Le Mans 24-hour race finishes under his belt. He will be sharing the driving duties in the Team Toyota GAZOO Racing Malaysia-liveried Vios with Takeyama and Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Challenge regular William Ho.
Meanwhile, the second car racing under Team Wing Hin Motorsports banner will feature Boy Wong and Dannies Ng.
Fueling his passion for motor racing, Mr Takeyama’s participation in the S1K is seen as a means to gain greater race mileage and to further hone his craft in the race where some of the most formidable racing drivers in the country will be vying for glory.
“Having only raced in the Vios Challenge for two and a half seasons, going into the S1K will be a totally new and exciting experience for me. I look upon it as a challenge and an opportunity for me to push my own boundaries. I also hope to pick up some valuable insights from my team mates Iida and William who have a wealth of circuit racing experience,” said Takeyama.
The Sepang 1,000km kicks off with a rolling start around noon on 23rd November 2019 with the chequered flag expected to fall at around 9pm that evening.