Contestants hands on as Subaru tries to palm off a new car

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 October, 2009, 12:00am

Personally, I can't understand why anyone would want to own a car on Hong Kong's congested roads, but 40 folks were eager enough for a new Subaru to compete in this year's Subaru Palm Challenge at Olympian City. The annual contest requires competitors to keep one hand on a car for an extended period while occasionally performing some tricky manoeuvres with the other.

More than 300 people signed up to compete, with the list whittled down to 40 in Tuesday's hand-to-hand combat. The 10 finalists in the six-hour marathon won a trip to Singapore to compete against other regional finalists at the end of this month. There, the person who maintains contact with the car the longest gets a brand-new, smudge-free Subaru Impreza S-GT.

These types of endurance contests began in the US (where else?), but Hongkongers, who love to line up for free stuff, seem to take to the task at hand with ease. 'I want to win the car,' said Szeto Ho-yee, the only woman among the finalists. 'I almost failed to continue on a few occasions, particularly when we had to hold a bottle of water upright for an hour. However, I just kept telling myself, 'I want the car', and I managed to hold on.'