Published on February 20th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


Season 6 Of The GR Vios Challenge Kicked Off At Sepang

The 6th season of the GR Vios Challenge kicked off at Sepang over the weekend. Here’s a report of the action.

The Sepang International Circuit played host to the opening round of Season 6 of the GR Vios Challenge, where young drivers showcased their prowess and dominated the racing. The one-make race format of the series has leveled the playing field, allowing the young drivers to hone their skills and racecraft at an accelerated learning curve. The weekend’s two-day race had its share of unwanted incidents and post-race penalties, with some drivers suffering a challenging start to the season.

The young drivers’ pace was evident throughout the weekend, as more than 3.5 million viewers watched the live stream of the race on Saturday and Sunday. The race weekend also featured a line-up of five new celebrities, six new rookie drivers, and a grid of 45 cars.


The GAZOO Racing Young Talent Development Program was launched in 2020 to promote young drivers up the motorsports ladder, and it has successfully produced 12 talented young racers between the ages of 14 and 20 who have transitioned from karting and simulator racing to saloon car racing.

2023 Toyota Vios Cup Toyota Gazoo Racing

In the Super Sporting Class, Mitchell Cheah of Prima Pearl TD Racing won Race 2 after a 10-second post-race penalty in Race 1 had stripped him of a race win, dropping him to 6th. Cheah made the most of a reverse grid format in Race 2, placing him at the front of the grid to lead the 20-lap race from start to finish, finishing 0.4 seconds ahead of Putera Adam of Laser Motor Racing. Hayden Haikal of Axle Sports finished third. Putera Adam was later penalized, dropping him to fifth, and promoting Hayden to second and Prima Pearl TD Racing’s Tengku Djan Ley to third.

Ariff Azmi clinched the victory in the Rookie Class Race 2, with Nazmir Azlan and Iman Danish finishing in second and third position, respectively.

The last two seasons of the Rookie Class championship were won by simulator racers, and Ariff is confident that he can become the first karter to win the title in 2023. Nazmir finished third in Race 1, while Iman won the opening Rookie Class race.

In the Sporting Class, Race Rally KL’s Mohd Syafiq Samsudin led the race from the front row and built a healthy 1.7 seconds lead ahead of Crestmax Motorsport’s Bradley Benedict Anthony by the very first lap.

A safety car on lap 2 quickly erased his lead, and despite pulling away to establish a 0.8-second lead when the race restarted three laps later, he was served a drive-through penalty for a false start.

The turn of events led to a showdown between Bradley and Season 5’s Rookie Class champion Nabil Azlan for the lead. Halfway through the 20-lap race, Bradley inched ahead with a gap of 1.3 seconds ahead of Nabil, with Abdul Miqail of 23 Motors in tow for third position a further two seconds behind. Bradley took the chequered flag 0.7 seconds in front of Nabil, and Abdul Miqail claimed third.

In the Promotional Class, Race 2 was a repeat of Race 1, with actors Zizan Razak and Shukri Yahaya finishing in the top two positions, separated by just 0.3 seconds. Ezzrin Loy, a newcomer to the GR Vios Challenge, finished third in the 18-lap race, 13.3 seconds behind, but still successfully securing his second straight podium finish in two races. Actor and host Ezzrin, who is also an avid motorcycle enthusiast, said that racing a saloon car has been an eye-opener.

The action-packed GR Vios Challenge continues with Round 2 between the 2nd and 4th of June 2023 at the Sepang International Circuit once again.

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