Racing cars make it literally a charity drive

Some of the more than 100 vintage and supercars taking part in the first Racing Hearts charity drive yesterday. The passengers included more than 100 Community Chest beneficiaries.
Some of the more than 100 vintage and supercars taking part in the first Racing Hearts charity drive yesterday. The passengers included more than 100 Community Chest beneficiaries.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

For about 10 minutes, the 14-year- old student sat in awe as the engine of the supercar roared.

Mikayla Lee, from the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Katong School, was in the passenger seat of a Porsche GT3, one of more than 100 vintage and supercars taking part in the first Racing Hearts charity drive yesterday. The passengers included more than 100 Community Chest beneficiaries.

Describing the experience, Mikayla told The Sunday Times: "It was fascinating. When the car went faster, it got very loud."

Her grandfather, who wanted to be known as Mr Lee, 65, said it was "Mikayla's lucky day to be driven in an expensive supercar".

The event, held at the F1 Pit Building, was organised by Singapore GP and Singapore Airlines to raise funds for Community Chest beneficiaries.

Guest of honour Low Yen Ling, the senior parliamentary secretary at the ministries of Trade and Industry, and Education, presented a $10,000 cheque to the Community Chest on behalf of the organisers.

Mr Loi Win Yen, 46, said the event was the perfect prelude to the Singapore Grand Prix, to be held from Sept 15 to 17. The businessman, who is a member of the Porsche Club Singapore, said: "It's all about giving back to society. I was impressed when the Katong schoolboy who sat in my car said his dream car was a Lamborghini."

A tyre-screeching drift demonstration at the far end of the straight also pulled in the crowd.

One of the world's top drifters, Kenshiro Gushi, led the demo team consisting of Malaysia's Formula Drift Asia veterans Ivan Lau and Ee Yoong Cherng, as well as Singapore's Ng Sheng Nian.

Members of the public, who donated $10 each, also got to race go-karts on a mini circuit with the DJs from ONE FM91.3.

"It was fun and very competitive but after two of our fans, who were ahead of me, crashed, I made sure I drove behind everyone like I was the safety car driver," said DJ Glenn Ong. "If it wasn't for that, I would've won."

Attendees also got a behind-the- scenes tour of the Marina Bay Street Circuit for a $5 donation.

For the first time, the tour featured the Temasek Suite, an exclusive hospitality suite that hosts dignitaries during the race weekend.

A part of the paddock was converted into a mini photo studio for families who paid $20 to have portraits taken of their children dressed up as Singapore Airlines junior pilots or stewardesses.

As the festivities continued into the night, Mr Frederick Seah, an advertising agency owner, was seen wiping down his 1969 racing green Morgan 4/4.

Mr Seah, 50, said: "I look forward to these types of events because it's not only for a worthy cause but it's one of the rare occasions that I get to drive my vintage car."

About 8,000 visitors attended the event.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 27, 2017, with the headline 'Racing cars make it literally a charity drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe