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Most people work hard, few play hard too. When you have a grueling 6 day work week, with a job that requires intense concentration and precision, most people would like to kick back and relax after work, on weekends. Huang Shiming believes differently.
A Dental Surgeon at T.P. Dental, Shiming is an avid car enthusiast. Therefore, it was only natural we met for a chat at Motoren MTR, where he introduced me to his friends at the workshop. It was the first time I spoke to him casually, outside of work, and when he wasn’t working on my teeth! His demeanour was calm and composed, much like what I’m used to seeing at his clinic.
When I asked him about his passion, his face instantly lit up. “I cannot begin to explain how spirited driving is exciting and yet relaxing at the same time for me. The freedom of the open road with no time pressure. The slickness of operating the perfectly weighted controls. The clear yet never overwhelming feedback through the steering wheel with terrain change. The weight transfer and rotation along meandering stretches. The howl of a naturally aspirated engine at full chat.” He’s talking about his Porsche Cayman R of course, which he drives at Sepang Formula One circuit as frequently as possible. The car suits his personality, and I can only guess he’s cool as ice even when tearing down the track with minute precision.
His previous vehicle was a BMW M3, carefully tuned to 625 HP. “In hindsight, I spent a lot more on it than I should have!” He says with a smile. His passion for motoring is visible when he speaks about the driver, machine and environment as one. “Your mind is transported to a different plane and temporal worries become nonexistent. Be it a scenic drive along a long winding road or a cross border road trip or an all out blast on racetrack tarmac. All are equally satisfying albeit in different ways. Unfortunately, with border closures, road trips up north and motorsport track days at the Sepang circuit are indulgences I will have to forgo for the near future.”
A fitness enthusiast, he has taken up bouldering recently asides from his usual fitness regimen. “I enjoy it because of the unique combination of problem solving, pre-planning and the need for high physical expression.” He also has a penchant for cooking. “During circuit breaker, I did go a bit crazy with sous vide cooking experiments - mostly with different kinds of steak. The family never complained though!”
Shiming enjoys winding down after a long day at the clinic with a good single malt. We cracked open a Glendronach 15, which we thoroughly relished. “I am a sucker for anything with a long finish” he says.
Shiming believes fashion has got to be comfortable in all senses of the word. “Naturally it has to be comfortable to wear but at the same time I have to be comfortable in the attire without feeling overly self-conscious.” He pays importance to clothes which fit well and look crisp. “I also do appreciate rarity or having something bespoke. An effortless look which you yet do not see around every other street corner would score highly for me. Of course, given our local climate, home attire is often some form of active wear. Bonus being I do not need to shop separately for exercise clothes!”
It was an enjoyable evening with Shiming, especially while understanding the technicalities and dynamics of different vehicles, tracks, and driving styles. It’s the same weekend as the Eiffel F1 Grand Prix at the Nurburgring – the first time back at the track since 2013, and now I’m more excited than ever to go back and catch up on some motorsport action!