The 2021 TGR Vios Challenge Round 2 was a welcomed sight among local motorsports enthusiasts as it marks the return of four-wheel racing at Sepang Circuit. After a seven-month break due to the pandemic, the race series returned with new faces into the championship, adding more excitement into the round.
Mitchell Cheah impresses in Super Sporting
Joined by new but familiar names like Mitchell Cheah and Faidzil Alang, the Super Sporting class is always the hottest race at the Vios Challenge. Mitchell definitely became one with the 23Motors Vios Cup car as he topped the qualifying sheets to start from pole in Race 1. He then continued the momentum into the race by creating a big gap from his rivals. Although the gap was reduced due to a safety car period, he was able to keep the lead and win Race 1.
The fight for second place was fought fiercely by Freddie Ang, Mark Darwin and Tengku Djan. Lugging 40kgs of ballast was not helping Djan’s advance to the podium spots, and the puncture he suffered later in the race just made things worse.
The fight for second place was then fought by Freddie and Mark, which saw the latter claiming the second place. However, third place did not go to either Freddie or Djan, as Syafiq Ali who started from P9 had a great charge and finished in P3.
Torrential rain shuffles the grid
Race 2 brought a whole different challenge to the racers as the torrential rain had soaked up the 5.543km circuit. Although starting from P4, a great start had propelled Syafiq to P1 at the beginning of the race, trailed closely by teammate Faidzil. However, the excitement was short-lived as the heavier rain had called the need for a safety car.
Now in P4, Mitchell tried his best to climb through the ranks in hoping to secure another race win. He managed to pass Hayden Haikal who was in P3, and was locking his sights on Faidzil’s car. The duo fought for about two laps before traded positions, in which Mitchell was now trying to catch up with Syafiq who was about two seconds ahead.
The hope for another race win was getting closer for Mitchell as another safety car had diminished the lead Syafiq built up earlier. However, there was not enough time for him to catch up with the race leader as with only one lap to go, Syafiq held a close grasp to the lead to claim victory for Race 2.
Mitchell finished Race 2 in second position, and third place went to Faidzil who had quite a number of hairy moments throughout the wet race.
Triple win streak for Naquib Azlan
Racing alongside the pros, Naquib Azlan had a joyous outing in Race 1 as he clinched his third consecutive win in three races. Starting the race from P3, Naquib played the waiting game as he let pole sitter Mika Hakimi and Putera Adam slug it out in the early stages.
It could have been the day for Putera, but an incident with another car after exiting Turn 4 had put his race to a premature end. The lead was then passed to Naquib, who was already running in P2 before the incident. He then defended his position from the trailing Mika and stayed in P1 until the checkered flag. Coming in third place was Amer Harris.
Redemption for Putera Adam
Naquib however was not able to continue his streak in Race 2 as the win went to Amer instead. Mika once again finished in P2, and it was redemption for Putera as P3 was his to claim.