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14 year old hayden haikal powers to his first victory in the vios challenge
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14-year old Hayden Haikal powers to his first victory in the Vios Challenge

Teen scores first ever win in full-bodied racing after switch from karting

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

29 Apr 2019


What were you up to at 14? Probably watching “The Fast and the Furious” franchise sow the oats of tuning culture and hardwire the meaning of JDM into the brains of fledgling petrolheads? Well, Hayden Haikal is out living the dream at 14 as he drove the wheels of his Vios for his first ever victory in full-bodied racing following a switch from karting.

It was all down to the wire in the final race of the second season in the Toyota Vios Challenge that forms the core of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival. Fans got to witness the future of Malaysian motorsports as Hayden drove a race more becoming of a racing veteran to win the first race of his class.

For the first time ever, the race was held at the Sepang International Circuit and though some might have expected the wider track and runoff areas to reduce the drama, it only served to push the drivers even harder around.




Sporting – Race 1

Practically leading from start to finish in the in the Sporting Class, Hayden drove like a man possessed and completed the 20-lap race over seven seconds ahead of his nearest competitor on the 2.61km north track half layout of Sepang International Circuit.

Why practically? Well, Hayden started second on the grid but made a brilliant start to slingshot past pole position man and Panglima City Racing Team’s Kenneth Koh into the first corner. From there on, he set a blistering pace to grow his lead every lap.

“I got a good start, but honestly I was very nervous as the race unfolded. I was very worried about making a mistake but in the end, everything worked out well. It’s an amazing feeling to win my first ever saloon car race,” said the former two-time Malaysian Rotax Max Challenge karting champion.

Asked if he preferred racing on a street circuit instead of a permanent circuit like Sepang, Hayden added, “I definitely feel more at home racing on a permanent track because it is a lot wider and you can carry more speed into the corners.”

Finishing third was ST Wangan Racing Team’s Eric Yong.

SPORTING CLASS
Hayden Haikal - Prodigy Racing
Kenneth Koh - Panglima City Racing Team
Eric Yong - ST Wangan Racing Team
Brendon Lim - Tedco Racing
Clement Yeo - Distinctive Model



Super Sporting – Race 1

It was the familiar face of M7 Racing Team’s Syafiq Ali atop the podium for Race 1 following an epic four-way battle for victory. Technically, Syafiq crossed the finish line in second place behind Laser Motor Racing’s Alif Hamdan but the latter had incurred a 10-second jumpstart penalty that dropped him to third. This brought up Telagamas Toyota’s Freddie Ang to second.

Syafiq had a cracking start by jumping six spots at the start to climb from eleventh to fifth going into the first corner. That parked him the top fourf of pole position man William Ho of Kegani Racing, Ang, ST Wangan Racing Team’s Boy Wong and Alif.

“The result was unexpected for me, but it’s a great feeling to win again after my last victory in Round 3 in Penang a month ago,” said Syafiq.

SUPER SPORTING CLASS
Syafiq Ali - M7 Racing Team
Freddie Ang - Telagamas Toyota
Alif Hamdan - Laser Motor Racing
Boy Wong - ST Wangan Racing Team
Keifli Othman - Team Nanoplus



Promotional – Race 1

Singer Aiman Tino claimed victory in Race 1 ahead of actress Diana Danielle and fellow singer Akim Ahmad who completed the podium. Diana started from second on the grid but made an excellent getaway at the start to lead into the first corner.

She remained in the lead for six laps before conceding to an obviously quicker Aiman who was filling up her rear-view mirror all the way.

“There was really nothing much I could do. Aiman was definitely quicker and rather than risk being pressured into making a mistake, I felt the most sensible thing to do was to move aside,” said Diana who despite yielding to Aiman, consolidates her grip on the overall point standings.

It won’t be an easy run to the championship as Akim Ahmad is still in the running and could throw a spanner in the works for Race 2.

PROMOTIONAL CLASS
Aiman Tino
Diana Danielle
Akim Ahmad
Khai Bahar
Wany Hasrita




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