Red Bull Soapbox Race, Bucharest Romania
Sometimes, acting like a big kid is okay. And there were plenty of big kids out for some fun in Bucharest recently for the Red Bull Soapbox Race 2014.
Fifty-one contestants poured their sweat and creativity into fashioning custom soapbox racers out of old bicycles, shopping carts, dune buggies, and whatever other discarded junk showed potential. The fastest time didn’t automatically guarantee a win (just ask the folks behind the Moby Dick entry – they made down the hill in the shortest amount of time, but didn’t even place in the Top 3.) Entries were judged on a three separate criteria: speed, creativity, and artistic expression.
The stage show that entrants put on had a lot to do with currying favour with the judges. Music, costume, choreography – all of it played a role in determining the grand prize winner.
Some pretty nifty prizes were up for grabs as well. The first place team received a trip for 4 to a racing camp in Austria. Second prize was a trip for 4 to attend the Red Bull X-Fighters Freestyle Motocross Show in Madrid. Third place had to settle for a day at a go-cart track in Romania.
Even though it looked like it was “anything goes” when it came to the design of the soapbox racers, there were some basic rules that contestants had to adhere to in order to be accepted into the Red Bull Soapbox Race. Besides specific height, width and length of each soapbox racer, here are the basic restrictions.
First, racers may contain any material – except glass. This is a race after all, and there is a (small) ramp that vehicles must jump.Glass is just asking for trouble.
Second, soapbox racers cannot weigh more than 80 kilograms (sans driver and passenger of course.)
Third, the soapbox racer must have working brakes and steering capability.
Fourth, no motors or other means of propulsion – only gravity can see you through to the finish line.
And finally, the entry must be an original creation – no machines made from soapbox race car kits allowed.
First place went to the Vegetarian Cannibals, whose stage show featured a number that included Hooked on a Feeling (that annoyingly infectious “uga chaka uga chaka” song) by Tom Jones and Blue Swede.
Second place went to Zombie Mobile, for their interpretation of a zombie wedding.
Third place on the podium went to The Punishers because, well, everyone likes a cop routine.
The Red Bull Soapbox Race has been held in dozens of cities around the world since it first started in Belgium, in 2000. This is its first year in Romania.
Take a look at some of the other entries in this year’s event.
If you think you have what it takes to be a soapbox racer, or if you’re just bored out of your mind, Red Bull also has an online soapbox game you can play to hone your soapbox skills. It’s a little simple, a little dated, but very much addictive. Kinda like Red Bull itself.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.