The 120 participants raced around Singapore after sunset during the very first night edition of our annual automotive telematch!
FOR the past seven years, Torque On The Move (TOTM), began in the morning and ended at noon.
This year, the eighth edition of TOTM started at sundown and ended at midnight. The change was inspired by the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, the original night race, which marked its 10th year in 2017.
In theory, a night event would be less hot, since it avoids Singapore’s scorching daytime weather.
However, it did not take long for the participants to discover that the heat from the competition was as hot as ever.
And because this year’s start and end point was at Carros, located in Kranji, the total distance that teams would have to cover was also much longer and harder compared to previous TOTMs.
Traffic congestion also posed a serious challenge. To get to the Torque Junction at Hotdogs Inc, participants had to make their way to PoMo at Selegie Road. This sounds simple enough, but the Singapore Night Festival taking place nearby left many TOTM participants stuck in heavy traffic.
The challenge awaiting teams at Hotdogs Inc, however, was lighter than expected, for it required them to play a game of Ramps & Ladders. The game tested their knowledge of Carros, while the venue itself offered them an opportunity for a snack.
At any rate, deciphering the clues to the Torque Junctions would be easier on a full stomach. Indeed, the riddle to the Motul station, which was in SPH Media Centre, saw some competitors mistakenly heading to SPH News Centre instead!
Participants who did last-minute car-decorating with decals found themselves in a “sticky” situation.
Funky socks were optional clothing for the night’s fun and funky motoring adventure.
Torque’s senior writer Jeremy Chua (left) tried to give a “learner driver” some parking lessons.
Torque’s editor David Ting (right) failed to elicit laughs with his stand-up comedy routine.
Participants put a new spin on these tyres at the Bridgestone junction.
Supporting the Torque team were a RAV4 and a Fortuner, Toyota’s reliable suburban warriors.
The Motul challenge was certainly slick. It required each team to assemble three jigsaw puzzles, but the catch was that they had to do it in a certain amount of time (between 40 seconds to two minutes), which would be determined by spinning a “roulette” wheel.
Participants were in for a different spin, however, when they arrived at CLH Tyres Trading along Soon Lee Street.
Apart from being tested on their knowledge of Bridgestone’s Ecopia EP300 and Alenza 001 tyres, they had to perform “tyre bowling”, too!
Teams were bowled over with a mixture of surprise and excitement when they had to do a “hit and run” at Homerun Baseball. To complete this Torque Junction, they had to hit 15 balls.
More points could be earned if team members managed to hit balls pitched at higher speeds. The default batting cage sent baseballs flying towards batters at 80km/h, but those who felt that they had better hand-eye coordination could opt for the 90km/h and 110km/h batting cages.
At the end point, coming in third place with 575 points were Yi-Roe and Ying Ru from Team 10. Their efforts earned them two pairs of Rudy Project sunglasses and two 4-litre bottles of Motul 8100 X-cess, tickets to the opening night of The Podium Lounge, a Carskinz voucher, two Kappa backpacks and a pair of Columbia watches.
Second place went to Jared Lim and Benjamin Yap from Team 13, who scored 660 points. Their prizes included a pair of Formula 1 tickets, a set of Bridgestone GR-100 tyres, a Carskinz voucher, and a Motul hamper that included Motul 8100 X-cess engine oil and Takashimaya vouchers worth $200.
Edging out the rest were Team 3’s Anthony Soh and Chen Zhaolin, who took the top of the TOTM podium with 665 points.
The pair, who were second at TOTM 2016, finished in first place because they realised the importance of planning.
“Last year, we ran around like headless chickens. This year, we deciphered the junction clues before driving off.”
Anthony and Zhaolin took home a pair of Formula 1 tickets, a set of Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, a Motul hamper that included the brand’s 300V engine oil and $300 worth of Takashimaya vouchers. They also received a pair of Luminox Tony Kanaan watches and a Kappa backpack each.
Given the importance they placed on planning, it’s no surprise that the winning duo were already thinking of next year’s Torque On The Move.
Asked if they would return, both replied: “We’ll definitely be back next year, as long as we are both in Singapore when TOTM 2018 takes place!”
Team 3 also took home the prize for Best Dressed Car – after literally scaring off the competition.
Prizes for the top team included Luminox Tony Kanaan timepieces and F1 tickets.
PHOTOS ANGELA GUO