Racing for charity: Fastest sidecar trip from Singapore to Penang
Twelve hours was all the time Mr Simon Wong, 46, and his team of motorcyclists had to beat the record for the fastest trip from Singapore to Penang with a sidecar.
The team is using its race to raise funds for Red Cross' Covid-19 efforts to support front-line workers around the world.
They hope to raise at least $50,000 in donations.
On March 12, the three scooters crossed the finishing line in Penang in record time of 9hr and 20min, earning themselves a spot in the Singapore Book of Records.
Mr Wong, who co-founded Singapore Sidecars, told The New Paper that the hardest part of the race was preparation.
He said: "A lot of road tests had to be done to make the Vespas go fast enough."
To beat the 12-hour record, the scooters needed to hit an average speed of 67kmh.
But in their initial tests, the scooters averaged only 61kmh.
The crew members modified the scooters, removing the windshields to streamline it and strengthened the bikes to sustain long distances and high speeds.
Mr Wong said: "We had to make these modifications because these small bikes can be unstable. They can catch the wind and tip over.
"But thanks to our preparation, there was no breakdown during our journey."
The three scooters and two support vans encountered a smooth journey, with minimal traffic and no strong winds.
He added: "The weather was cool and the skies were clear. Rain and thunder would have wrecked our race."
The team averaged speeds of 86kmh and the three vehicles hit a maximum speed of 105kmh.
Fly Entertainment TV and event host Nikki Muller, 34, was one of the crew members who assisted with navigation, logistics and refuelling.
Miss Muller, who is part Swiss and part Filipino, told TNP that she had time to be part of the project because many of her events were put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.
She said: "There was no time for food stops. I had to pass the riders fruits and biscuits, and made sure they drank a lot of water. They were not even human."
She rode in the sidecar as the riders crossed the finishing line in Penang together in record time at 3.17pm.
She said: "I was filled with so much joy seeing these people do what they love despite how tough it was.
"It shows if you want to do something to help with a passion you have, you can."
Mr Wong added: "There is so much fighting in the world today.
"The team of racers came from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Britain, Brazil and Switzerland. I hope this sends a message about solidarity and how we need to stick together and fight the virus together."
To make a donation, visit redcross.give.asia/campaign/islandtoislandrace#/