Published on September 17th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship Finals This Weekend
Three winners will get to represent Malaysia on the global stage
20 finalists of the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship are set to battle it out this weekend to get their hands on a piece of the RM70,000 pool of prize money. Not only that, the top three winners will go on to represent Malaysia in the GR GT Cup Asia qualifiers organized by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP).
Unlike previous years, the current pandemic situation has forced this year’s finals to be run from each competitor’s home. Running on Sony PlayStation’s Gran Turismo Sport platform, the event will kick off with the semi-finals on 18 September. The 10 fastest drivers will then advance to grand finals the next day (19 September). Both the semi-finals and finals will feature a three-race format.
For more excitement, the two-day event will also local celebrities, amateur, semi-pro as well as professional race car drivers from the Vios Challenge one-make race transfer their real-life driving skills to the simulators. Some of the names that will make an appearance include actors Zizan Razak, Shukri Yahaya, Nabil Ahmad and Sharnaaz Ahmad, Sporting Class driver Clement Yeo, Super Sporting drivers Tengku Djan Ley and Hayden Haikal, as well as Rookie Class racers Naquib Azlan, Putera Adam and Amer Harris.
Check out the following press release for more information on the sim racing esports tournament:
The Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship reaches its climax on 18-19 September 2021 with Malaysia’s top 20 simulator racers vying for the honors of winning a total prize pool of RM70,000 and a chance to represent the country in the GR GT Cup Asia qualifiers!
More than 800 participants participated in the championship which began with qualifying rounds from 21-29 August, before the quarter-finals were held from 4-5 September to select the top 20 racers who would move on to compete in this weekend’s (18 September) semi-finals. The one-day shootout will reduce the field to the 10 fastest drivers for the finals (19 September).
First held in 2018, the number of participants in the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship has grown from 400 to more than 800 this year. With just 10,000 online spectators in 2018, last year’s event drew more than 1 million online spectators who watched the two-day event via Facebook and YouTube. Until today, UMW Toyota Motor remains the first and the only Malaysian car company to be associated with fast-growing E-sports motor-racing activities.
“The momentum and the level of interest for the GR Velocity Esports Championship have grown tremendously in just four years. This is a huge boost for both e-sports and motorsports and we are glad that we persevered to keep the championship going despite the restrictions faced due to the pandemic,” said President of UMW Toyota Motor, Ravindran K.
Unlike previous events which were held in public spaces, this year’s finale will be run completely online from each competitor’s home, with the race utilizing Sony PlayStation’s Gran Turismo Sport platform. Spectators can follow the race action which will be broadcasted on the Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia Facebook and YouTube pages and also over Astro’s eGG Chanel
Meanwhile, Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia’s Chief Motorsports Officer Akio Takeyama said UMW Toyota Motor remains committed to its aspirations of establishing a bigger footprint in Malaysian motorsports.
“In the four years that the Gazoo Racing brand has actively been in Malaysian motorsports, we have seen the eco-system dynamically transform. At one point, we experienced young racers joining the Vios Challenge street racing series, and then it evolved to having simulator racers not only joining the event but proving they are also capable of winning a real race. Today, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see a growing population of professional racers not just globally but also domestically, migrating to compete online in the absence of physical events. This is a fantastic evolution for both esports and motorsports and I believe moving forward one will be dependent on the other in order to produce racers of exceptional quality,” said Takeyama.
The finals will also see several racers currently competing in the Vios Challenge Promotional, Sporting, Super Sporting and Rookie classes, taking to simulators for an exhibition race.
Spicing up the action in the exhibition race will be Promotional Class drivers Zizan Razak, Shukri Yahaya and Nabil Ahmad, as well as guest racer and actor Sharnaaz Ahmad; Sporting Class driver Clement Yeo; Super Sporting drivers Tengku Djan Ley and Hayden Haikal; and Rookie Class racers Naquib Azlan, Putera Adam and Amer Harris.
The two-day semi-finals and grand-finals will see four previous GR Velocity Esports Championship winners returning. They include defending champion Taj Aiman, and last year’s runner-up and third place winner Iqbal Suji and Mior Hafiz, as well as 2018 winner Muhammad Uzair.
In the semi-finals, racers will first pilot the Toyota 2000GT in a 15-minute race around the 3.8km Goodwood Motor Circuit, and afterwards another reversed-grid order race to complete our tour in the United Kingdom. The third race behind the wheel of the GR Supra Racing Concept for a 30-minute race at Australia’s 6.2km Mount Panorama-Bathurst circuit.
The final is also a three-race format. The first two-races involves a 15-minute sprint race with racers competing driving the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo GR.3 at the 7km Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The championship decider will be a 40-minute finale at Fuji Speedway, behind the wheel of the TS050 Hybrid (TGR) and requiring them to make at least one compulsory pit-stop.
Billed as one of the most lucrative local online racing series in the country, the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship offers a cash prize of RM20,000, RM10,000, RM7,000, RM5,500, RM4,500 to the top five overall winners. Meanwhile, prize monies amounting to RM4,000, RM3,500, RM3,000, RM2,500 and RM2,000 also awaits those who finish in 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th positions respectively. A prize of RM500 each is awarded to racers who finish 11th to 20th positions. Racers also stand to win additional cash in the form of RM450 and RM200 awarded to the first and second place winners in each of the two individual races.
The top three winners will go on to represent Malaysia in the GR GT Cup Asia qualifiers organized by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP), bringing together the best drivers from the region.
Do not miss all the action! Tune in to the GR Velocity Esports Championship, watch all the action on Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia Facebook and YouTube pages on 18 and 19 September 2021.