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Saturday March 20, 2010
By JADE CHANjade@thestar.com.my
CHILDREN can now get a taste of the F1 festivities, albeit on a safer track, with the Hot Wheels Race World Challenge.
A Hot Wheels Celebrity Drive for Charity Challenge featuring Malaysia’s first F1 driver Alex Yoong was held at Toys ‘R’ Us in Suria KLCC to kick off the Race World Challenge that began on Friday.
Mattel South East Asia Pte Ltd country sales manager Kenny Lim said the inaugural challenge was held to offer a chance for the young ones to be a part of the F1 hype, and because this year would mark the participation of Malaysia’s first F1 team.
“The Race World Challenge will witness fearless Hot Wheels drivers playing against the clock on a track that they’ve never experienced before.
“Especially for Hot Wheels enthusiasts all over the country, we have created a four-lane 6.1m long race track; built in with booster challenges — the longest Hot Wheels race track ever to have been made in Malaysia,” he said.
During the charity event, Yoong pitted his skills against three other young drivers from the Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association as they raced to clock the fastest time.
Yoong clocked in a time of 2.5 seconds, but was beaten by Michael, an 11-year-old Lighthouse resident, who led the pack with a time of 2.3 seconds.
The Hot Wheels Race World Challenge is open to boys and girls aged between four and 12 years.
“To qualify for the race, they will need to buy two Hot Wheels basic cars at any retail outlet and keep the proof of purchase,” Mattel Southeast Asia brand manager Ivy Yeoh said.
“They can then turn up at any of the Race World Challenge venues on the scheduled dates and the Hot Wheels Pit Crew will verify their receipts and check that genuine Hot Wheels cars are used for the race.
“Participants can use existing Hot Wheels basic cars from their collection and not necessarily the ones that were bought for the challenge.
“Their race times will be taken, and the fastest two from each leg will go on to qualify for the finals,” she said.
“The car’s material, aerodynamics and centre of gravity are factors that participants should consider in selecting the type of car to race with, as well as strategy,” Lim said.
According to him, there are 210 models for this year’s range of Hot Wheels basic car, each priced at RM6.90.
The 16-heat event takes place across Malaysia, with challenges scheduled to coincide with the 2010 F1 World Championship Race Calendar.
“The challenge dates go hand-in-hand with the dates of the F1 Grand Prix to make it easier for the participants to remember the schedule,” said Lim.
Hence, the event would be timed to start with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and culminate with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Yas Marina.
“There will be four tracks at each challenge, which will be held for 10 days at each leg. There are three time slots each day: noon-2pm, 3-5pm and 6-8pm,” said Yeoh.
The grand finale, which will be held in November, will feature 32 participants battling it out for the top prize of a computer worth RM5,000 and savings amounting to RM5,000.
The Hot Wheels Celebrity Drive for Charity Challenge also features a charity twist.
Every time Yoong’s time of 2.5 seconds is beaten during the Hot Wheels Race World Challenge from March 19 to 28, Mattel will donate a toy towards the Children’s Home of Hope (under the National Cancer Society of Malaysia) and the Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association.
The first leg of the Hot Wheels Race World Challenge will be held from March 19 to 28 at Toys ‘R’ Us, Suria KLCC, followed by the second leg from April 2 to 11 at Giant Hypermarket Shah Alam.
Subsequent challenges will be held at various locations in the Klang Valley, Johor Baru, Ipoh, Malacca, and Penang.
For details on the Hot Wheels Race World Challenge, call Mattel’s Hot Wheels Department at 03-7880 3817.
Excitement builds in the city as race day draws nearer
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