Latest Soapbox Racing News
Entry forms for the 2009 Belchford Downhill Challenge have been mailed out to last year's entrants to give the existing teams a chance to get their entries in before the rush. With the growing popularity of soapbox racing in the UK, it seems likely that Belchford and the other events on the 2009 soapbox racing calendar will be oversubscribed, so prompt entry is advised if you want to secure a place. New teams will be able to enter for Belchford in late January. Full details will be on the Belchford Downhill web site in due course.
For those that haven't been down to Belchford before, it really is worth the trip. They borrowed a few ideas from the Catterline Cartie Challenge, such as chicanes, push starts and theme tunes. There were over thirty carties in 2008, with some very slick precision engineered soapboxes fighting it out for the honours. Catterline's own Flying Ferret was there and performed creditably, posting the 5th fastest time on the day.
Meanwhile, entries for the Catterline Cartie Challenge will be open to existing teams from January 1st, with entries from new teams being accepted from Feb 1st onwards. Last year all the places were snapped up in less than a month, so the organisers have decided to increase the maximum number of entries to 30.
A pie. Belchford drivers can now eat loads of these.
The organisers of the Belchford Downhill Challenge have published new rules for 2009. The rules have been made less restrictive in order to make it easier to build a distinctive soapbox cart while still ensuring that all the entries are still safe to run. The size restrictions have been relaxed, and the weight restriction has been changed from "175Kg including the driver" to "100Kg without the driver", meaning that gravitationally challenged drivers can now take part.
The requirement for roll bars and harnesses has been altered as well. You now only need to have them if you are enclosed within your soapbox racer. If your machine is open, however, you can chose whether to fit them or not.
Entries for the 2009 Belchford Downhill Challenge will be available to new teams from 6th January. Teams that took part in 2008 will receive their entry forms in mid December. For full details and a copy of the new rules, visit the Belchford Downhill Challenge web page.
With the National Soapbox Rules currently under discussion on the UKGSA forum, I've decided to update the Rules discussions in the Event Organisers section. There are some of my thoughts on what is needed in a good set of rules, and also some links to the rules used by various events around the country.
It's interesting to note that, now more teams are travelling to different events and event organisers are starting to talk to each other and share ideas, all the different rules are starting to converge and a standard set is emerging. Whether this is consensus breaking out or just blatant plagiarism of the best bits is hard to tell, but if it makes it easier to build a cartie that can compete in several races then it's got to be a good thing.
If you have any questions or comments on the rules pages, or indeed any other part of the site, then please do leave some feedback in the form at the bottom of each page. We've already had some really usefull discussions about wheels over in the construction pages, and it'd be great to get more substance in the event organisation pages too.
Several events for the 2009 calendar have already been confirmed, and some are even accepting entries. The events calendar is currently up to date, but if you know of any corrections or additions then please get in touch.
Other dates confirmed are;