IF The New Paper's SUVival Challenge registration were a race, businessman Philip Gan would be a four-time champion.
He was first to register for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Challenges - and this year, he is again the first off the mark with his registration.
That earns him the honour of being car number 001 - the first car in the convoy.
Mr Gan, a familiar face among the adventure-seekers, was one of 70 people to rush in their registration forms when it was first published in The New Paper on Sunday last week.
With the Challenge limited to only 120 SUVs, the early rush to snap up places reflects the immense popularity of the event.
Up to four people can take part as a team in each car.
This year's challenge to Kuantan will be held on 25 to 26 Apr.
Mr Gan, who is in his 60s, said he has always been enthusiastic about the event because it gives him a chance to drive his SUV along a road less travelled.
'In Singapore, we won't be able to drive in rough terrain. There isn't any place here where you can drive off-road.
'The good thing about this Challenge is that I'm driving in a convoy. If my SUV gets stuck in the mud along the way, the other participants can help me pull the vehicle out.'
Ms Chok Huey Jiuan, promotions manager at Singapore Press Holdings, said: 'Mr Gan's vehicle always the first in the convoy. So much so that the other regular participants already know him.'
Mr Gan laughed when told he is always the first one to fax in his registration form.
He said: 'Really? I come to the office early. I'm in before 8am so when I get The New Paper and I see the form, I just fill it in and fax it in.'
Registration is $159 per person.
The champion walks away with $2,500 in cash and a Pioneer in-car entertainment DVD unit worth $1,000.
There will also be prizes for two winners of the Best Decorated SUV competition and a lucky draw.
For the lucky draw, three Holux GPS navigation devices, five $100 shopping vouchers and 10 Pioneer CashCards, each with a value of $40, are up for grabs.
This article was first published in The New Paper.