In The Passenger's Seat: Kailing Loh, A Rose Amongst Thorns

Published by on . Updated on 10 Jan 2022

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641535414542 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

If you’re a local car enthusiast or have made frequent trips to the Sepang Circuit in the past, the name “Kailing” should be familiar to you.

For those who aren't in the know, car meets are events that are usually organized individually, allowing people with or without cars to meet, mingle and chat. It can range from a small meet at a car park to larger-scale events such as SG Motorfest or even track days at Sepang Circuit.

Kailing Loh is the person who organizes it all! Through her company, The Next Thing, she strives to bring affordable motorsports events to all car enthusiasts in Singapore.

Today, we decided to have a chat with Kai Ling to explore her interest in cars as well as how she rallies the local car community together. 

Please introduce yourself!

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641536267342 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

I’m Kailing, I’m currently dealing with architectural coating and paints. I'm also the co-founder of The Next Thing SG

I'm currently driving a Honda Civic FD2 Type-R, but you would most likely know me as the one driving the pink Mazda RX-8. 

Could you share more about The Next Thing?

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The Next Thing was established in 2016 with the goal and motto to provide affordable motorsports events for all Singaporean car enthusiasts.

All of our events are subsidized through the help of various sponsors to enable more Singaporeans from all walks of life to experience the joy of motorsports.

We help to organize automotive events such as drifts, drag, track days, mega car meets such as AC Underground, SG Motorfest and many others. Not forgetting automotive clinics too. Basically anything automotive related.

What's it like being in an industry that is mostly dominated by guys? 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641537791065 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Motorsport Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

Stereotypes are common. Sometimes it can get on your nerves but once you get used to it, you will just laugh it off.

Tell us more about the current car that you're driving

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I’m currently driving a Honda Civic Type R, an FD2R to be exact. And yes. Just like all the previous cars, it’s pink. It's just got to be pink. 

And yes. Manual is the best.

The RX-8 is known to be a handful to maintain. What are some other challenges that you face?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641540030504 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

Good question. I would say, all cars have their own individual issues. My RX-8 was pretty problem-free. Many have asked me how that's possible. My humble advice to every car owner is to never delay the servicing and maintenance of your car.

Be preemptive and service your car before certain parts wear out or when symptoms start to show. At the end of the day, you would still need to service your vehicle. It's just a matter of sooner or later. Dragging it will only lead to bigger problems down the road.

What ignited your passion for cars? 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641540180685 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

In my younger days, when Marina South was the to-go place for steamboats and BBQ buffets, there was always car meets with what we call ‘tiong chia’ (fierce-looking cars). But I was too young, I could only play Daytona and Crazy Taxi in the arcade beside it. 

What Is Your Dream Car?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641540460145 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh (Photo Credits: Mazda)

There are many cars that I like but my favourites are the Mazda RX-7 FD3S and Nissan GT-R R34. To date, I still can’t make up my mind on which one is my favourite. 

You've had some track experience. What's your favourite memory from them?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641780099920 In The Passengers Seat A Rose Amongst Thorns(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

With the borders closed for so long due to the pandemic, I think I’ve forgotten how to drive to Sepang Circuit already. 

My fondest memory was the one in 2018 with over 30 Lancer Evos. Thanks to the support from the Evo Club, it was a beautiful scene with a nice sounding orchestra. I do have a soft spot for Evos as well. 

You are quite influential amongst the various car clubs in Singapore. How would you describe your role?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641540900216 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits:@kailingloh)

I play the role of peacemaker by bridging the car clubs together. The admins and presidents of the various car clubs know each other. Rather than distancing themselves, I encourage them to say hi to one another or to organise meets together to allow members from different clubs to share more about their cars and their experiences.

Anything you would like to say to the local car community?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1641543295707 In The Passengers Seat Pink Cars And Automotive Events With Kailingloh(Photo Credits: @kailingloh)

Be more forgiving. Don’t let your ego get in the way. There are many who say that the local car scene is dying, and I agree.

That’s the reason why The Next Thing SG was established, to revive the motorsports passion. Gone are the days when after a nice run with a random stranger, you give a thumbs up or a wave bye, maybe even turn on your hazard lights.

Winning or losing never mattered in the past. Nowadays, drivers spam group chats and hunt down a car that ‘pushes’ them. It’s quite sad that this is so common these days.

Nevertheless, we have been advocating for car enthusiasts to race at a track instead as it’s a safer environment for both you and your car. Please don’t be shy, you can always reach out to our Facebook for the next track day once the border opens.

If you want to stay in the know of the various car meets around Singapore and abroad, do visit The Next Thing. Alternatively, you can also keep up with Kailing on her Instagram!

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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