SINGAPORE Vietnamese national Nguyen Phuoc Huynh was onTuesday (Nov 3) crowned the winner of the MediaCorp Subaru Car Challenge 2015. He is the first competitor from outside Singapore to win the grand prize of a car.
The 33-year-old salesman outlasted 400 contestants, keeping his palm on a Subaru car for 77 hours and 58 minutes. The winner of the 2014 edition, Mr G Jaishanker, clocked 82 hours and 16 minutes.
The moment Nguyen Phuoc Huynh was told he won the MediaCorp Car Challenge, barely a minute after first runner-up from Malaysia Tan Hong Sheng dropped out. http://bit.ly/1MuMYPZPosted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Mr Nguyen walks away with the grand prize of a Subaru XV. For the first time in the history of the competition, organisers were offering a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) for the car and S$5,000 worth of fuel vouchers from Shell. However only Singaporean participants are eligible for the COE and Shell vouchers.
Mr Nguyen was declared the winner barely a minute after the hand of first runner-up, Mr Tan Hong Sheng from Malaysia dropped out as his palm slipped. The second runner-up, Singaporean Yip Yu Wai, exited earlier after a time of 77 hours and 53 minutes.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, two other Singaporeans Mr Sunawr Ali and Mr Abdul Hamid Jonid, the oldest participant, bowed out of the challenge. Mr Sunawr's hand slipped after he clocked a time of 76 hours and 58 minutes.
Mr Abdul Hamid, a 56-year-old personal driver and part-time martial arts instructor, clocked in a total of 74 hours and 44 minutes before switching his hands in a moment of confusion, said organisers. The visibly-emotional man was seen being helped out of the competition venue in a wheelchair by family members and marshals. Nicknamed Kacang, Mr Abdul Hamid had participated in the contest nine times and came in second place in 2010.
Subaru Car Challenge participant Mr Abdul Hamid Jonid is comforted by marshals and family members after exiting the competition. (Photo: Wendy Wong)
Mr Abdul Hamid Jonid exits the Subaru Car Challenge competition after 74 hours and 44 minutes. (Photo: Wendy Wong)
Ms Elizabeth Chua, 38, was the last woman standing in the competition before she dropped out at about 2pm on Tuesday. The six-time participant clocked a duration of 73 hours and 17 minutes.
"There is a state of mind where you can't remember where you are, and you can't recall what you are doing," said Ms Chua, describing her past experiences. "I've encountered such a situation over the last few years, but it has improved over time."
Ms Elizabeth Chua, the last woman standing in the Subaru Car Challenge, resting after dropping out of the competition. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)
The endurance challenge kicked off on Oct 31, inside a tent at Ngee Ann City’s Civic Plaza. Participants have to place their palms on the cars, and the last person standing will receive the grand prize.
A total of 80 participants from across the region also took part in the challenge. They are eligible for additional cash prizes such as S$1,000 for Country Winner and S$5,000 for the last standing regional contestant.
"I guessed that a regional contestant would win," said Mr Daniel Tee, a 32-year-old fuel service engineer who had clocked in 56 hours in the challenge earlier. "One of the marshals told me the marshals are too lenient to them. And they were all at the corner, near to the public, who can remind them if their hand slips off, plus talk to them. However, those near the stage were not able to communicate with the public."
Mr Tee said that in the next competition, regional contestants should be placed in random positions, to be fair.
"I also feel 77 hours is too short for this year's conditions, I was expecting 85," he added.