First-ever “planes versus cars” charity event brings together prominent travel and lifestyle companies to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children.
Contributed by Joyce Tan Wen Hui
The challenge was a groundbreaking novel race held on March 28 between propeller planes and cars to find out if traveling down to Singapore from the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Jaya by car could beat a plane ride.
Quotient TravelPlanner, one of Singapore’s leading customized travel agents, took up the challenge to raise funds for its beneficiary, the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home.
Coined “Aero Vs. Auto,” the race featured two teams of five vehicles each, on land (Team Auto) and air (Team Aero), respectively. Team Auto comprised a fleet of five Mini Coopers while Team Aero had five propeller planes.
Said Lim Hui Juan, co-founder of Quotient TravelPlanner and co-project leader of this challenge, “We wanted to incorporate our expertise in providing customized travel experiences into a refreshing and unique community project with a ‘wow’ factor, hence the birth of Aero Vs. Auto.”
“Besides, we were very appreciative of the support provided by the group of MINI enthusiasts, Wings Over Asia, as well as Design Prodigy. Such a race has never been done before in Asia.” Added Wei Lim, Aero Vs. Auto co-project leader, “We were delighted by the number of visionary organizations who took an interest in this unique charity initiative.”
Sponsors for the challenge included Citibank, the Duck & Hippo Group, edgy-fashion label SKIN Couture and MINI Singapore, amongst a list of notable names.
Said Lillian Cher, SKIN Couture’s boutique manager, of the challenge, “SKIN Couture is proud to be a part of this very novel and meaningful event to help raise funds for the Chen Su Lan Methodist Home.”
To celebrate the outcome on showdown day, a private party was held at the rectilinear MINI Habitat, MINI’s newest showroom outfit located along Leng Kee Road. Team Auto’s supporters came decked in bright-colored tops while those who chose to root for Team Aero came in white tops.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF QUOTIENT TRAVELPLANNER|
Gracing the event as Guest-of-Honor was Karsono Kwee, Executive Chairman of the Eurokars Group of Companies, Singapore’s distributor for luxury cars such as Porsche, Saab, Opel, Rolls Royce and MINI. Highlights of the event included musical performances by the talented Alarice and EN-X.
The outcome? Team Auto beat Team Aero by a marginal victory of 10 minutes, proving that a car can run as fast as a propellor plane in a given timeframe. Awaiting their arrival were the children from Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, volunteers and invited guests.
To date, the challenge has raised S$42,042 and all of the proceeds collected went to CSLMCH to aid in the construction of its learning center and essential needs.
Concluded Cher in light of SKIN Couture’s participation in Aero Vs. Auto, “We at SKIN Couture strongly believe that children are the ones who will shape our future society, thus, each of them deserves a hope for a better future.”
For more information on how you can pledge a donation to the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, kindly visit www.aerovsauto.com. Likewise, you can also check out Quotient TravelPlanner’s twitter (http://twitter.com/QuotientTP) or Facebook page for further updates on the challenge and other upcoming events.
Team Auto Emerges Winner By A Marginal Victory Of 10 Minutes Quotient TravelPlanner explains the race sequence. The race was calculated to be exactly evenly matched between the two teams. Both teams were equally subject to unpredictable external factors beyond their control. Hence, it wasn’t a race of speed, but of strategy.
The race started out at 9:30 a.m. from Subang Jaya, Malaysia. While Team Auto could depart at maximum speed towards the highway to Singapore, Team Aero had to make a detour to Subang Jaya Airport and go through customs inspections, pre-flight checks and runway clearance. By the time all five planes got off the ground, the cars had already covered a good section of the highway.
In spite of the lead, Team Auto was encumbered by motorists on the roads, speed limits, traffic lights, toll booths and fuel stops. So both teams remained neck and neck at several points throughout the race.
One hour fifteen minutes into the race, Team Aero’s flight leader reported that he could see Team Auto directly below him “just before Pagoh on the North South Highway.” Shortly after, Team Auto encountered a blockade and an engine failure, causing all five cars to pull over, thus losing precious time. At 45 minutes to noon, the race “stood on a knife-edge” with no room for error. Team Aero had to flawlessly land and clear immigration, and Team Auto had to give absolutely all the speed their cars had.
Team Aero managed to complete landing of the entire team (while Team Auto had no problem traveling in a convoy, Team Aero, on the other hand, had to maintain minimum distance and time between planes landing on the runway), clearing immigration and parking the planes by 1215hrs. Team Auto passed the Tuas immigration checkpoint by precisely noon, maintaining the lead all the way down a clear and direct path to the finish line at MINI Habitat.