Singapore, 7 November 2016 - 341 contestants have dropped out of the competition 48 hours in, leaving only 59 participants still standing, braving the heavy downpours and cloudy conditions that kicked off Day 3 of the Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge.
The contenders for the Subaru XV 1.6 I-S worth S$69,600, without Certificate of Entitlement (COE), kept their eyes on the prize and remained upbeat – some even dancing and cheering on the activities on stage – as the Challenge passed its 48th hour mark. Cast members of popular Channel 5 show The Noose, Chua Enlai and Alaric Tay, were also onsite to provide comic relief to the visitors and participants alike.
This year's determined contestants include 62-year-old Magaret Ragree from Singapore, the Challenge's oldest participant, still going strong after 48 hours. 34-year-old Alex Neblasca from the Philippines also stands firm, participating in the Challenge for the 8th time. Neblasca, who made it to the final 10 contestants in 2014 clocking 76 hours, said that pain in his legs caused him to give up that year, but believes it is possible for a regional contestant to win again. In preparation for this year's Challenge, he "ran and did more leg exercises" hoping that would give him the much-needed edge to push him towards the Grand Prize, to "prove to himself and finish the Challenge", once and for all.
Regional contestants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cambodia have been knocked out of the competition, with just 1 challenger still standing from Thailand, with 2 remaining for China and 3 for Malaysia. Contestants from the Philippines and Vietnam are still going strong. A total of 17 regional contestants remain in the competition, with 42 still standing from Singapore. Nguyen Phuoc Huynh from Vietnam took home the Grand Prize in 2015, making him the first regional winner in the Challenge's 14-year history. It remains anyone's guess as to whether another regional contestant would repeat the feat this year.
This year, supporters also play a crucial role which can make or break the contestants. Additional rest breaks can be given to contestants with supporters who take part in an online game at toggle.sg/carchallenge. The top 15 game scorers on the scoreboard will earn their supported participant an extra 5-minute break. The scoreboard will reset after every break and the online game will end upon the last 10 standing contestants.
Supporter Candy Chong, 35, rallied her friends and family to take part in the online game. Their cumulative efforts earnt her husband, Lee Cheg Yong, 39, a much-needed additional 5-minute break, in between the usual breaks every 6 hours.
Concurrent to the actual Challenge, the Subaru Public Challenge – where onlookers and visitors can experience a mini palm Challenge of their own – continued to draw in the crowds, with close to 200 visitors taking part over the weekend. A total of three family teams also took home a Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge prize hamper worth $400 on Sunday, after completing a series of fun challenges, including the Public Challenge. Visitors to the event grounds also continued to enjoy freshly-baked palm bread samples from Asanoya, the iconic Japanese bakery, with outlets now at Paragon, Queen Street and Tampines Mall (Isetan).
In addition to being eligible for the Grand Prize, regional contestants will also compete for additional titles and cash prizes. The title of Country Winner and a cash prize of S$1,000 will be awarded to the final standing representative of each participating region. The last standing regional contestant will win the Asian Winner title and walk away with an additional S$5,000 cash. The country or region, whose participants have the longest combined standing time, will be awarded the Country Team Winner title along with a cash prize of S$10,000 to be equally divided among the team.
For more information and updates, please visit the official website at toggle.sg/carchallenge.
Jointly issued by Mediacorp Pte Ltd and Subaru.