Subaru Palm Challenge 2010: Two finalists who outlasted the rest of the field battle it out on the same car

Published on November 3rd, 2010

The Subaru Impreza Asian Face Off Challenge 2010 came to an emotional and nail-biting end recently in the city state of Singapore, as at 4.17pm on the 2nd of November 2010, a 45-year-old local Singaporean technician by the name of Aloysius Lim, emerged victorious after he managed to outlast the other last contestant and rival remaining, fellow Singaporean Abdul Hamid Jonid, a 51-year old driver, when Abdul Hamid’s hand slipped from the Subaru car, 75 hours and 17 minutes into the competition.

Incidentally, the final two contestants were part of the 10 contestants belonging to car number eight. A large crowd of onlookers, well-wishers, supporters, family members, relatives and friends of the contestants huddled at the steps of Ngee Ann City Plaza to watch the intense showdown between the the last standing contestants who had the most stamina, will-power, determination and endurance to succeed in winning the grand prize of a Subaru Impreza WRX 2.5L Sedan.

Affectionately known as “Kacang” by his supporters, first runner-up Abdul Hamid was visibly struggling after the 75th hour, and was seen squatting and rubbing his back to stay in the competition, clear signs of fatigue and strain from being constantly awake and standing for slightly over three days. Aloysius managed to outlast Abdul Hamid as he was the younger one between the two, as the difference in age of six years proved to be an advantage for the younger Aloysius. At times, a very determined Abdul Hamid was seen swaying back and forth, and leaning forward to massage and kiss his fingers that were placed flat and firmly on a very difficult spot – the window.

A mix of cheers and sighs arose from the crowd when poor Abdul Hamid’s palm slid off his decal where his right palm had been firmly pressed on for the past seventy-five hours. After his right palm sadly slipped off the decal, Abdul Hamid collapsed and was immediately taken away on a stretcher by the unsung heroes of the Challenge apart, the alert, helpful and ever present medical staff that had been seeing to the contestants well-being and health all throughout the Challenge. Mysteriously enough, Aloysius Lim’s palm remained firmly on the bonnet of the car when he was announced the winner, perhaps disbelieving his amazing feat that had just been achieved after four long, hard and trying days in the open under the unpredictable and testing humid tropical weather.

An exhausted but smiling and elated Aloysius said in a voice almost sapped out of tone due to a lack of energy, “It is definitely not easy to win the car. It is mentally-challenging and it had been a very torturous experience for me. With no sleep, I was so stressed and exhausted, and I had to plan my breaks strategically so that my five-minute breaks every six hours would help me endure the next six hours that came.”

“Whenever I was feeling drowsy and sleepy, my wife would be shouting and calling out to me, to keep me alert,” he added, acknowledging the support from his beloved and supporting wife.

This year’s Subaru Impreza Asian Face Off Challenge was the ninth to be organized and held by Motor Image in Singapore. All in all there were three hundred and ninety brave and corageous participants from nine countries that took part in this Challenge. Apart from the host country Singapore, participants came from all over the Asian region, from neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philipines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China, and for the first time in this Challenge, Vietnam. Apart from the host country Singapore, which had the most number of participants, all the other countries were represented in this challenge by a group of ten participants each, who qualified for the Challenge through competitions held locally in each country by the Subaru distributor in each respective participating country.

Malaysia were only represented by nine participants for the Challenge, as one of the participants who qualified for the Challenge, 29-year old sales representative, Saw Sen Chiew, had to pull out of the Challenge at the last minute due to personal reasons. The Malaysian participant who lasted the longest was a determined, 38-year old assistant supervisor by the name of Siti Yuhani, a contestant from the previous year’s challenge, who managed to outlast the other last Malaysian participant standing in the competition, the equally courageous and determined 31-year old flight steward by the name of Hubert Koh Kim Whatt, who pulled out of the challenge early Monday morning. Like Siti Yuhani, Hubert was also a seasoned participant in the Challenge, as he had taken part in two previous Challenges prior to this. For her efforts as the longest lasting Malaysian participant in the Challenge, Siti Yuhani received S$1,000 for her efforts.

Group Chief Executive Officer of Motor Image Group, Glenn Tan, and Managing Director of MediaCorp Radio, Florence Lian, presented the coveted prize, a brand spanking new Subaru Impreza WRX 2.5L MT sedan worth SGD 98,800 (without COE) to a surprisingly still-energetic Aloysius, who must have found some strength in the joy and glory of winning. A pleased Glenn Tan said, “It is amazing and actually, very encouraging to see how the contestants battle it out to the very last, employing various strategies to outwit and outlast their equally determined opponents.

Even into our ninth year of this Challenge, it is inspiring for us that so many people still want to go through this gruelling experience to win a Subaru Impreza WRX 2.5L MT car, which shows the interest a lot of the masses have in owning and driving a Subaru Impreza, which has been a best-selling model for Motor Image in Singapore for slightly more than a decade now.”

For the first time, this year, the runner-up did not walk away empty-handed, as Abdul Hamid received a cash prize of S$5,000 from Glenn and Florence for his courageous efforts in making it to the final hurdle of the Challenge and being the runner-up, despite being half a century old, proving that age is just a matter of numbers.

For updates of the Subaru Impreza Challenge, please visit: http://carchallenge2010.mediacorp.sg/

words: Azdee Amir pix: Motor Image & Azdee Amir

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