Soapboxers hit London’s streets

Posted on July 12th, 2013 by James Luckhurst

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 12.47.22Soapbox drivers are revving up their human-powered engines for north London weekend of crash, bang, wallop. Yes, folks, the Red Bull Soapbox Race 2013 returns to London after a nine year hiatus, featuring some of the wildest legal street racing around. It’s all taking place this Sunday at Alexandra Palace, London.

Crowds of up to 20,000 are expected to gather at Alexandra Palace this Sunday for the Red Bull Soapbox Race. 70 soapboxes, include an asparagus, Elvis’ blue suede shoe and an Alexandra Palace replica are all due to take part, as temperatures climb to an expected high of 27 degrees on Sunday.

Former Hollyoaks actor Thomas Scurr is entering with ‘Pass the Soap’ – his teammate is James Atherton who plays Will Savage in the show.

The human-powered soapboxes will career downhill at Alexandra Palace outlaid with jumps, bumps, curves and swerves to get to the finish line – competing against the clock. Off the race track, there will be plenty of action to keep the crowds entertained including face painting, ‘people pit-stops’ and live music from DJs.

Judges for the day are chief designer at Red Bull Racing, Rob Marshall (not to be confused with GEM’s technical expert of the same name); street trials pro-rider Danny MacAskill and multi-award winning mountain biker, Gee Atherton.

The course opens to the public at 10.30am, racing commences at 12pm and the winner is crowned at 4pm.

Using standardised wheels with precision ball-bearings, modern gravity-powered racers start at a ramp on top of a hill, attaining speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Rally races and qualifying races in cities around the world use advanced timing systems that measure the time difference between the competing soapboxes to the thousandth of a second to determine the winner of a heat. Each heat of a race lasts less than 30 seconds. Most races are double elimination races where a racer that loses a heat can work through the Challenger’s Bracket in an attempt to win the overall race.

Red Bull Soapbox Race 2013 is at Alexandra Palace on Sunday 14 July, tickets are still avaliable.