The ninth edi­tion of Sin­ga­pore’s favourite au­to­mo­tive telematch once again saw par­tic­i­pants driv­ing across the is­land as they solved rid­dles and over­came chal­lenges.

Torque (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

TTHE heat was on, in more ways than one, as 92 par­tic­i­pants in Sin­ga­pore’s favourite au­to­mo­tive telematch ar­rived to kick off a Septem­ber Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon that re­quired wily wits and check­point chas­ing. Un­der the blaz­ing noon sun at Ma­rina At Kep­pel Bay, which was the start and end point, the 46 teams lined up their de­caled cars for the start of this year’s Torque On The Move (TOTM), the ninth it­er­a­tion of Torque’s an­nual flag­ship event. The lux­ury yachts and high­end con­do­mini­ums at the lo­ca­tion pro­vided a stun­ning back­drop as par­tic­i­pants filed into the brief­ing room to await their clue sheets and event in­struc­tions. Com­pe­ti­tion was strong from the start as some drivers, once parked, be­gan dec­o­rat­ing their rides. Team 47, with its Cookie Mon­ster-themed car, beat the other Hal­loween-themed cars with their cre­ativ­ity and won the “Best Dressed Car” award. This year’s TOTM again tested par­tic­i­pants’ street smarts, re­source­ful­ness and pow­ers of de­duc­tion as they de­coded cryp­tic clues and raced around the is­land to grab the most points be­fore the clock ran out.

Par­tic­i­pants had al­ready com­pleted sev­eral PECs, or pre-event chal­lenges, be­fore ar­riv­ing for this year’s TOTM, one of which in­volved pos­ing with a Hyundai Kona poster at three mys­tery out­door mu­rals for ex­tra points. Aside from the four com­pul­sory main sta­tions, or Torque Junc­tions, par­tic­i­pants could also at­tempt bonus chal­lenges which could net them ei­ther 25 or 50 points to boost their chances of win­ning.

For the main gig, how­ever,

par­tic­i­pants faced tasks that would take them lit­er­ally all over the is­land. One of the sta­tions was lo­cated at Hyundai’s Ko­moco show­room along Alexan­dra Road, while an­other was at Bukit Timah Courts, which some con­tes­tants said was one of the harder lo­ca­tions to de­ci­pher. Ar­guably the most fun Torque Junc­tion was Saint Games in Kal­lang Wave Mall. Here, par­tic­i­pants had to groove to the beat, where, de­pend­ing on their level of sass or bootyshak­ing skills, would earn them a max­i­mum of five stars in a fun-filled work­out chal­lenge! With a choice be­tween two three-minute songs to dance to, they had to match the moves on­screen to win the most points. Par­tic­i­pants tem­po­rar­ily be­came pop stars, as cam­eras flashed while they per­formed their crazy dance moves.

One of the moves was to do a split in the mid­dle of the song 24K by Bruno Mars, which guar­an­teed hi­lar­ity as par­tic­i­pants at­tempted to do so with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess. Some gamely went the whole nine yards, while some de­cided that split­ting their trousers wasn’t re­ally an op­tion. De­pend­ing on how they planned their route, one of the other Torque Junc­tions was right across the is­land along Benoi Road in Tuas, home to au­to­mo­tive re­pair spe­cial­ist Ver­mo­gen Group.

At this sta­tion, com­peti­tors had to muster their mem­ory and ball-throw­ing skills honed in school, as they bat­tled to throw the most num­ber of balls into a tyre ring to score points. This chal­lenge had two parts. Teams first stud­ied a cat­a­logue from Yoko­hama – the event’s of­fi­cial tyre – con­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion on the dif­fer­ent mod­els of tyres the brand of­fered. They then had to an­swer three ques­tions: where the brand Yoko­hama is from, what tyre mod­els they carry, and which English Premier League team it spon­sors.

If all three ques­tions were an­swered cor­rectly, the team would re­ceive the max­i­mum of 10 balls, each with a fea­ture of a Yoko­hama tyre model writ­ten on it. Six balls were given for an­swer­ing two cor­rectly, and just three if they an­swered one ques­tion right.

Faced with a set of tyre hoops, teams had to throw the balls into the cor­rect hoop, which cor­re­sponded to the at­tribute writ­ten on the ball. De­spite par­tic­i­pants’ good aim, balls some­times bounded hap­pily out of the hoops – ac­com­pa­nied by howls of an­guish.

Af­ter nearly four hours, par­tic­i­pants be­gan stream­ing back to the end point, Ma­rina At Kep­pel Bay. Com­ing in third place was Team 27’s Alexan­der Chia and Beatrice Zhang with 605 points.

Their ef­forts net­ted them over $1500 in prizes that in­cluded a $50 petrol voucher from Hyundai, a set of four

Yoko­hama tyres, a $50 Kappa voucher, two Gre­gory Tail­mate bags, two Her­shel Sup­ply Co wal­lets and two Fis­cher Au­dio Con­so­nance ear­phones.

Just 15 points sep­a­rated them from Team 10’s Ezen Ho and Chris Tan, who col­lected 620 points. Ezen and Chris walked away with prizes worth more than $2200, among which were a $100 petrol voucher from Hyundai, a set of four Yoko­hama tyres, a $100 Kappa voucher, two UB+ Blue­tooth speaker sets, two Gre­gory Tail­mate bags and two Her­shel Sup­ply Co wal­lets and purses. How­ever, it was Ben­jamin Yap and Jared Lim’s Team 18 who clinched top hon­ours in Torque On The Move 2018, bag­ging 675 points and prizes worth over $3100. Th­ese were com­prised of a $200 petrol voucher from Hyundai, a set of four Yoko­hama tyres, a $150 Kappa voucher, $200 Rakuzen din­ing vouch­ers, a pair of watches, two Hex X

Ja­han tote bags, two Sworke Cy­clone sun­glasses, two Fis­cher Au­dio Con­so­nance ear­phones and two Her­shel Sup­ply Co purses and money clips. The duo came sec­ond in last year’s Torque On The Move, and for them, it was the twin en­gines of good plan­ning and team­work that brought the gold home.

“I think it was well ex­e­cuted, there weren’t any hic­cups along the way, and the plan­ning (be­hind the event) showed,” said Ben­jamin.

“One thing I learnt is that my danc­ing isn’t that bad,” he quipped, re­fer­ring to the Saint Games sta­tion. For Jared, the event gave him an op­por­tu­nity to visit places around Sin­ga­pore which he “usu­ally doesn’t get to go to”.

“We did a lot of ex­plor­ing also. Team­work was im­por­tant, too, be­cause Ben­jamin and I don’t re­ally meet that of­ten.

“We’re def­i­nitely in­tend­ing to re­turn for next year’s event. It’s a good time to get off work,” he laughed.

Th­ese par­tic­i­pants were all smiles be­cause they lit­er­ally had the clues (or at least the clue sheet) in the bag.

Armed with a mi­cro­phone, portable speaker and DSLR, Torque’s David Ting was a mas­ter multi-tasker in­deed.

Fig­ur­ing out how to fit ev­ery­thing into the car boot was a task that many par­ents were fa­mil­iar with.

TOTM chal­lenges re­quired ex­cel­lent bal­ance and great hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion as well.

There was noth­ing like a “high-oc­tane” meal to re­fill par­tic­i­pants’ empty “fuel tanks”.

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