Brackley ramps it up for postponed derby event

An entrant in last year's Brackley Soapbox Derby
An entrant in last year's Brackley Soapbox Derby

There’s still just time to enter for the Brackley Soapbox Derby, which now takes place on Sunday, September 30.

The annual event, which was originally planned to be one of the town’s Jubilee weekend events on June 3, had to be called off at the last minute, due to safety concerns as a result of the rain.

But the town’s 10th Soapbox Derby was merely postponed rather than cancelled, and is all set to take place on Brackley High Street next Sunday.

The high street will be completely closed to traffic for the afternoon, as it was last year.

This allows spectators to stand on both sides of the track, bringing more people closer to the action.

Spectators should note that the start time will be earlier than usual, at 1pm, due to the event taking place later in the year,

Arrive early to secure a good vantage point.

The non-power-assisted carts are sent down the High Street via a specially built ramp and the fastest carts reach top speeds of 15mph.

Some have brakes, but others must rely on a pile of cardboard boxes to stop them.

The carts – described by one competitor as “four wheels with a bit of wood on top” – may not exceed 1m in width or 2m in length.

This is a size increase on previous years – possibly due to a size increase in some of the competitors – and a new, longer ramp has been built for this year to accommodate the bigger karts.

Competitors in the two classes – under-15s and adults – carry out three timed runs and the team with the lowest combined time is declared winner.

The two main trophies are sponsored by Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, who will also have a car on display in the Market Square car park.

The two major sponsors of the event this year are Chilli And Pepper restaurant and the Greyhound Inn in Braackley, and both have carts running in the derby.

They will also be in attendance in the Market Square car park offering food and drinks.

Another supporter, the Direct Pizza Company, will also have a presence and will be entering a cart shaped like a pizza slice.

St John Ambulance have built a cart that looks like an ambulance.

Chilli And Pepper have put forward an award for the best novelty soapbox in the under-15s category.

Pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, ice creams and face-painting are among the other attractions.

There will also be some radio-controlled models from A&H Models in Brackley.

All entrants to the original event planned for June will have automatic entry to the postoned derby.

Soapbox Derby committee member Stuart Kirkwood said: “We just hope we’re blessed with good weather and it’ll be a nice day for the people fo Brackley to come out and enjoy a great day.

“Regardless of the weather, we will be going ahead this time.”

Entry forms are available from the information page on the derby website