TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) GT Cup ASIA 2021 Regional Finals concluded with an exciting finale on Saturday, 16 October 2021. E-Motorsports fans tuned in to watch 21 national qualifiers – from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, and South Korea – exhibiting their superb driving skills as they battled it out for the regional championship title.
Chou Yi Teng (Taiwan) and Nathayos Sirigaya (Thailand) opened the regional finals with leading positions in the first race for their respective groups. In the final round where the top 15 racers competed in the world’s oldest racetrack, Yi Teng steadily held his leading position through five laps to land first place, with other finalists racing neck-to-neck behind him including defending champion Muhammad Aleef (Singapore).
Overall, Nathayos – who placed third last year – clinched the winning spot. Yi Teng came second while Aleef came in third. With that, as the top two winners, Nathayos and Yi Teng will race towards the TGR GT Cup Global Finals in December where they will represent Asia and compete against top-tier e-Motorsport racers from around the world.
“I didn’t think I had a good shot at winning when I started in the fifth position in the final race, so I am very humbled for the win,” Nathayos enthused, upon reflecting on his triumphant journey. “It has been an amazing experience racing alongside the best e-Motorsport racers in Asia; I’m taking away with me important learnings and experiences that will be immensely valuable heading into the Grand Finals. I am grateful for the opportunity provided by Toyota to pursue my passion for racing in the virtual world.”
The e-Motorsports competition returns for a second year this 2021 bigger and better, and the competition underscores Toyota’s belief that motorsports is an important medium to convey the excitement of driving. These experiences are for car enthusiasts and to make motorsports more accessible across generations. This ultimately enables TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to build people, where roads build people and people build cars.
“We are overwhelmed by the support for GR racers in our second year of TGR GT Cup Asia. We are excited to see more countries participating, increasing the competition intensity. It was thrilling to see Nathayos and Aleef returning to battle it out for the global final entries.” Said Vice President of Toyota Marketing Asia, David Nordstrom. “We wish Nathayos and Yi Teng all the best in the global finals.”
TGR GT Cup ASIA 2021 – Highlights of the Regional Finals
The Regional Finals featured three stages of races across famous circuits from around the world. The fight for the championship kickstarted with a semi-final race, where the 21 national qualifiers competed in two groups in the GR Yaris. Down the streets of the Tokyo Expressway racing circuit, Nathayos led the race and eventually took victory in the final seconds of the last lap for Group A. Trailing right behind him was fellow teammate Thanaphat Pungphat, as both Thai drivers stuck with each other throughout the race. “The plan was to stick together in the qualifying round and work together to get to the finals,” Nathayos mentioned. With their plan playing out perfectly, the duo saw a total of 32 points in the team standings after the first round. For Group B, Chou Yi Teng (Taiwan) earned first place.
The top five racers from each group in the semi-final round proceeded to the third and final race, while the remaining 11 racers competed in the second race at the Fuji International Speedway, a racetrack standing at the foothills of Mt. Fuji in Japan. In this consolation race, five racers competing in the GR Supra sealed the last five seats in the final race, with Andika Rama Maulana (Indonesia) finishing in first place.
After an adrenaline-powered first two races, the third and final race delivered an equally gripping spectacle across two rounds for the top 15 finalists – starting with the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium in the recently premiered GR 86 model for round one, and culminating in the iconic Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe with the powerful 986-horsepower (1000 PS) TS050 Hybrid for round two. In round one, viewers were treated to a thrilling performance of Taj Aiman (Malaysia) who bravely leapfrogged several positions to earn third place, right behind Moreno Pratama (Indonesia) in second place and Nathayos in first. In the final round, Yi Teng found himself back in the leading position to claim victory for the final race, followed by defending champion Aleef in second place, and Nathayos in third place.
A first for the tournament, prizes were also awarded for the top three country teams. Team Thailand took home the winning team honour with 131 points, followed by Team Malaysia in second place with 84 points, and Team Taiwan in third place with 83 points.
Nathayos and Yi Teng will represent Asia and compete alongside world players in the TGR GT Global finals that is to be held in December.
To re-watch the Regional Finals for TGR GT Cup ASIA 2021: