By Cheryl Tay
He has been hooked on karting since last year, when he came across an ad about the inaugural Singapore Corporate Karting Challenge (SCKC) organised by Kartright Speedway.
Mr Lim Chung Chun, chief executive and chairman of iFAST Global Prestige, a financial-investment platform for high-net-worth individuals, was one of the drivers for the two teams that the company sent.
He said: "It was my first time racing last year. From that experience, I realised that karting is a very good way for business associates to network and for employees to bond, and it is a healthy sport for keeping fit."
When the inaugural series' sponsor, OCBC Bank, declined to extend its sponsorship to this season, Mr Lim's company came on board, inking a two-year sponsorship contract worth $250,000 and launching the iFAST Singapore Corporate Karting Challenge last week.
Said Mr Lim: "The opportunity to become the title sponsor for the SCKC came up only about three months ago. I was actually in discussions with Kart- right Speedway to plan a series of karting events for my company's business associates."
The SCKC's main objectives are to reach out to a different segment of the public, promoting karting to the corporate world by offering a respite from stressful working schedules and injecting excitement with some racing fun.
Retaining the same format as last year's, a maximum of 12 six-driver teams will compete in a four-hour endurance race in each of the three elimination rounds, and the top four teams in each round will proceed to compete in the Grand Final at the end of the year.
The difference this time is that five of the six drivers must be a shareholder, director or employee of the organisation that sends the team.
This is to prevent companies from getting seasoned or professional drivers to represent them.
Said Mr Jude Benny, director of the Kartright company, which owns the race track: "We did expect that corporate karting would be significant, but we never imagined that it would capture the attention of big companies the way it has.
"Last year, we had 30 teams, including an all-female team, and we are expecting a 20 per cent increase in participation this year."
There will be cash prizes for the Grand Final this year: $4,000 for the winning team, $2,000 for the runners-up and $1,000 for the third-placed team.
Registration ($4,000) for the SCKC opened yesterday and will close on June 15. The three elimination rounds will be held on July 14, Oct 6 and Oct 20, with the Grand Final on Nov 10.
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