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Published on November 2nd, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Subaru Challenge Winner For 2011 Asian face-off

The MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge came to an emotional close yesterday, with Mr Chong Kiat Chi outlasting everyone else to emerge victorious, 75 hours 36 minutes into the Challenge. It was a tough fight among the final three, who still seemed to be going strong, even after the final break that took place earlier in the day. The weather continued to beleaguer them, oscillating between scorching heat and torrential downpours.
Supporters for the remaining contestants rallied together, shouting encouragement and cheers for the beyond-exhausted contestants, but in the end was still sadly not enough for last year’s runner-up and popular repeat contestant 52 year old chauffeur Mr Abdul Hamid Jonid. Affectionately known as “Kachang”, his hand slipped off at 75 hours, 8 minutes, leaving youngest contestant, 27 year old, commercial executive Mr Tilani Haresh Lachmandas, and six-time repeat contestant 42 year old sales manager Mr Chong Kiat Chi to the final fight.
However, at the 75 hour 35 minute mark, it was Mr Tilani Haresh Lachmandas who had to be disqualified, as he lifted his hand off the designated palm placement, leaving Mr Chong Kiat Chi to be crowned the ultimate winner for the 2011 MediaCorp Subaru Impreza WRX Challenge.
Mr Glenn Tan, Group Chief Executive of Motor Image Group, and Miss Florence Lian, Managing Director (Radio), MediaCorp Pte Ltd presented the coveted prize, a Subaru Impreza WRX 2.5 MT Hatchback worth S$92800 (without COE) to a surprisingly still-lucid Mr Chong Kiat Chi. As runner up, Mr Tilani Haresh Lachmandas also received a SGD5000 cash prize.
Mr Chong Kiat Chi said, “I’m incredibly happy to have won. I dropped out of the Challenge last year due to exhaustion, but this year, with the support of my family and friends, I was able to last for as long as I did. Without them I don’t think I would have been able to do it, so I am really grateful for everything they have done.”
The regional representatives put up a great fight this year and in recognition of their efforts, the contestant of each of the nine participating countries who managed to endure the longest all received a cash prize of SGD1000 each.
Philippines representative, Mr Neblasca, Alex Jr., Jose performed the best out of the regional contestants, making it to the top ten. For his efforts, he walked away with SGD5000 cash prize. As the country that collectively stood for the most number of hours, Thailand also received the cash sum of SGD10000.
Other prizes included SGD750 in cash for the final standing contestant from each car, as part of MediaCorp’s 75th Anniversary celebrations.
Mr. Glenn Tan, Executive Director, Tan Chong International Ltd. said, “It was truly an exceptional moment to have been able to be the one to inform Mr Chong of his win. The disbelief on his face, followed by the realisation that he had won the competition was heartwarming; especially since this is the sixth time he has participated in the Challenge.
I’m proud to also see how the Challenge has also brought out the camaraderie and team spirit in many of the contestants, especially among the ‘Unfinished Business’ category, helping each other to stay on as long as they can.”
Mr Steven Choo, Assistant Vice President (English Programming), Radio, MediaCorp Pte Ltd said, “They came, they stood… but they could not conquer. 400 Contestants from 10 countries descended on Ngee Ann City’s Civic Plaza this year for the 10th anniversary of the MediaCorp Subaru Car Challenge. The regional contestants were once again bested by the unrelenting heat and humidity with heavy rain alternating with the scorching heat from the sun. Mr Chong Kiat Chi is the perfect example of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. This is Mr Chong’s sixth attempt and he has finally emerged triumphant. MediaCorp congratulates Mr Chong Kiat Chi for keeping the Singapore flag flying high”.

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