Toyota Motor Asia Pacific’s first virtual motorsport racing championship in Asia, the “GR Supra GT Cup ASIA 2020” drew to a close over last Sunday, Oct. 25 with a thrilling finale.
Fifteen challengers from five participating countries – Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India – competed in Toyota’s iconic sports car, GR Supra, by racing it online through one of the most demanding tracks in the world, the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife track in Germany.
The demanding route put the car and drivers to a hard test, and finalists from Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand raced neck-and-neck in the last laps of the race.
During the final lap, Sirigaya (Thailand) successfully passed Taj Aiman (Malaysia) for the lead but was later received 1 sec penalty for his aggression. That elevated Taj Aiman back into the lead which he defended right to the end with Sirigaya crossing the finish line in second and Aleef (Singapore) taking third position. But Aleef, having won the first two races, finished three points ahead of Taj Aiman to take the overall victory.
Aleef won $6,000 in cash prize and a coveted spot in the global final “GR Supra GT Cup 2020,” where he will race best of class e-motorsport challengers from around the world in December. Taj Aiman, placing second, took home $3,000 while Sirigaya, who came in third, won $1,500. All three winners were also awarded trophies.
The regional final was a one-make race championship in Gran Turismo Sport [PlayStation 4]. It was a culmination of national-level virtual racing championships held across the Philippines, India and Malaysia, and it also included Singapore and Thailand participants who had qualified after taking part in the global GR Supra GT Cup competition, with the best national racers advancing to the regional final.
The event has brought motorsport followers and avid gamers from all over Asia together to experience real-racing excitement with Toyota, and the national rounds reached more than 2.7 million views.
The regional final comprised three races and the championship had a magnificent start at Fuji Speedway – Toyota’s home ground and a place where it has won many victories in motorsport history.
Aleef finished first with a strong 6-second lead, and he was followed closely in second and third place respectively by Suji (Malaysia) and Taj Aiman.
The second race was an incredibly exciting five virtual laps through the night “Shuto” expressway of Tokyo. Lap five had one of the most exciting scenes of the race with Suji, Tanapat (Thailand) and Shaz (Singapore) racing three-wide through the long straight to compete for P7 in a one lane turn. But it was Aleef who once again finished with a strong first place, followed closely by Sirigaya. Lallave (Philippines) came in third, just one second behind Sirigaya.
Nürburgring was the last track raced in the regional final. It runs over 20 kilometer and has more than 150 turns, mandatory pitstop, and tire change. After three intense laps, Taj Aiman came in first with an incredibly close second from Sirigaya and Aleef in third.
The winners of the regional final were determined by their total points at the end of the competition. Aleef had the highest score of 36 points, while Taj Aiman came second with 33 points, and Sirigaya was in third with 25 points.
Speaking on his win, Aleef said, “I am very excited and honored to be the first ‘GR Supra GT Cup ASIA’ champion, and I look forward to bringing my best game to the global final and making all Singaporeans and Asians proud. It hasn’t been an easy race for me as I was up against many other fast drivers. There were also many levels of races leading up to the regional final. But I am glad my efforts paid-off. It was quite exciting racing the legendary GR Supra and being part of this journey with TGR and e-Motorsport fans and gamers. I would like to thank Toyota [regional and national teams] for giving me this fantastic opportunity.”
Aleef will represent Asia and compete with world players at the “GR Supra GT Cup 2020” global event to be held this December.