Malaysia’s best simulator racers show their skills at the GR GT Cup Malaysia grand finale at the Sunway Pyramid mall in Petaling Jaya.
From the very best in the game, to professional real-world racers, celebrities and even first timers, the event which also unfolded in front of an audience of more than two million online viewers over three days, clearly demonstrated that Malaysia was not of talent when it came to producing world class gamers, namely simulator racers.
“The sport has truly and exponentially grown judging by the outstanding pedigree of simulator racing talent we have in Malaysia,” said UMW Toyota Motor President Datuk Ravindran K.
“UMW Toyota Motor is proud to be part of this phenomenal sport that is increasingly becoming a very important pre-requisite to producing the next generation and competitive real-world racers.”
In the main event, Taj Izrin Aiman Taj Madira clinched his third overall title to become the most decorated GR GT Cup Malaysia racer since the event was first introduced in 2018.
“The event has become extremely competitive with a lot of newcomers,” said Taj Izrin Aiman who won two races and finished second in the third and final race to clinch the overall title in 2023.
For his valiant efforts, he won RM25,000 the biggest ever prize money to be offered since the event kicked off six years ago. A total of RM90,500 was up for grabs over the weekend.
Winning the GR GT Asia Pacific Qualifier last year and concluding the GR GT World Cup in 12th position representing Team Malaysia, Taj Izrin Aiman is optimistic of Team Malaysia improving on this achievement this year when he is joined by Dhanesh Wigneswaran and
Chong Kai Chang who finished in second and third places overall respectively. For Wigneswaran, second position overall is so far his best performance in the event. He first joined the GR GT Cup Malaysia in 2019, then known as the GR Velocity E-Sports Championship. Last year, he finished fourth overall.
“I tried very hard to improve my mental game this time round, trying to get into the zone, and to be calm and focused,” said the 22-year-old who was clearly in dominant form as he went on the win the 30-minute Race 3 at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in the grand final.
A graduate in marketing, and like his other competitors, Wigneswaran said one of his aspirations is also to transition into real world racing.
Making his third consecutive appearance in the grand final, 2023 produced the best result yet for Chong who also started competing in the event in 2019.
“I have always been a casual player and in fact, I started with a controller before investing in a simulator rig. It was the idea of competing against the very best racers in Malaysia that really intrigued me,” said the 29-year-old financial analyst.
The top 10 finalists were selected from more than 800 contenders. The three-day finale began with the quarter-final shoot-out to select the top 20 semi-finalists, and subsequently the best 10 racers.
The weekend also included a series of exhibition races involving racers and all nine celebrities competing in the GAZOO Racing Vios Challenge racing series; the top 10
fastest racers scouted from GR GT Cup Malaysia Campus Tour which for the first time this year introduced the simulator racing series and experience to universities across Malaysia; and a special race for the media.
For more information, log on to UMW Toyota Motor (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd website at www.toyota.com.my/gtcupmalaysia, facebook.com/tgrmy, youtube.com/tgrmalaysia, and instagram.com/tgrmalaysia