So it has finally come to the very last race of the inaugural Toyota Vios Challenge. Held within the confines of Technology Park Malaysia in Bukit Jalil, the first day of the one-make race – part of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival – kicked off in high fashion and was full of some serious competitive driving.

Visitors of the “carnival” were first treated to a tyre-shredding “Toyo Drift” show orchestrated by Japanese World Champion drifters Masato Kawabata and Hideyuki Fujino. The pair’s weapon of choice in the thrilling exhibition is a highly modified, wide-bodied Toyota 86. The duo also closed the track event later in the day.

As per previous legs, the Sporting Class category got the show going by opening the qualifying session of Round Four of the Vios Challenge. All 16 drivers in this category were spared from drama in the 40-minute affair, but each brought their A-game to the fore and put together a considerably entertaining episode of motor racing.

Cars 22, 86 and 13 formed a brigade of three right off the bat and stuck closely together for the better part of the entire 1.7-km makeshift track. They – Brendan Anthony of Dream Chaser (22), Brendon Lim of Tedco Racing (86) and Patrick Tam of Team Nanoplus (13) – went on to secure the top three spots with a time of 1:17.910, 1:18.107 and 1:18.355 respectively. They were the only drivers in the category to clock an average speed of over 79 km/h.

Next up, everyone’s favourite category – the Promotional Class. While also lacking in drama, the celebrity-packed category showed just as much enthusiasm, with all nine drivers besting their times set during the official practice run yesterday.

Shawn Lee in Car 6 and Shukri Yahaya in Car 24 were the hot favourites. Shawn set the fastest time after just 16 laps and promptly cut short his qualifying session on the basis of keeping his Vios 1.5 mechanically sound. However, Shukri stayed on for six more laps and pulled a huge shocker by beating Shawn with a time of 1:18.268. Shawn settled for second with a time of 1:18.708 (+0.440).

More surprisingly was Diana Danielle who, with a time of 1:19.867, snagged third place from Danny Koo and Fattah Amin. According to Diana, she was more inspired this time because of the presence of her husband and children. Geraldine Gan will start at the back of the grid tomorrow after she lost control and collided into a wall on the ninth lap.

In the Super Sporting category, Tengku Djan’s fastest time (set after just two hot laps) earned him a spot in the middle of the starting grid. The Prince of Drift’s time of 1:17.316 puts him in seventh place. The quickest driver of the day is none other than William Ho who once again showed dominance after taking chequered flag in Johor two months ago. William (Car 39) blazed through the track with a time of 1:16.115.

Kenny Lee in Car 38 was just as rapid, setting a time of 1:16.351. He will start behind William tomorrow. Safiq Ali of M7 Racing Team (Car 7), who was second runner-up in Round Three of the Vios Challenge, will start in sixth position after clocking 1:17.039.

For those who missed the event today, be sure to swing by Technology Park Malaysia (next to Astro MEASAT) to catch all the action tomorrow on race day. There will be two heats which starts in the afternoon.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival hosts a number of fun and activities – you can get up close and personal with the new C-HR and Avanza X, or experience first hand the heart-tugging obstacle course in a Fortuner. Better yet, you get to meet and take “selfies” with your favourite celebrities! Follow us on Instagram to catch live updates of the event – it starts from 9am to 6.30pm.