On your marks for Wicksteed’s Soapbox Derby

Last year's soapbox derby
Last year's soapbox derby

Charles Wicksteed’s reputation for engineering and innovation will be kept alive when amateur racers take part in this year’s Soapbox Derby at Wicksteed Park.

The event, on Saturday, June 17, will see up to 100 karts tackle a downhill course close to the park’s campsite, with prizes for the best dressed team, most spectacular cornering and most entertaining run alongside trophies for the fastest teams.

The event encourages competitors to use their ingenuity and imagination to create vehicles capable of tackling the course, with the thrills and spills attracting competitors and spectators from across the region.

It maintains the park’s reputation for innovation and highlights extraordinary legacy of the park’s creator Charles Wicksteed, and his life as an entrepreneur, inventor, innovator and successful engineer.

Charles invented the modern day slide and swing as part of his dream to encourage families to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

Wicksteed Park community link manager Tracey Clarke said: “Charles Wicksteed was at the forefront of innovation and engineering, creating rides and attractions which played a key role in the development of children’s play.

“The Soapbox Derby is great fun and encourages people to be innovative and create something unique, just like Charles did.”

The Soapbox Derby takes the form of a time trial for non-power assisted karts run over an inclined course with a left hand bend at the bottom and the first runs will take place from 11.30am.

The course begins at the top of the hill with competitors navigating a speed hump outside the old Golf House, now The Studio, next to the camp site, and runs down the hill towards the Hexagon Cafe.

The karts will be launched with a running push start by a team member. Juniors will run a shorter, straight route and the run will be timed by event marshals.

The event is free to watch, although car parking charges apply, and spectators can just turn up on the day.

Entry is in advance only, not on the day. Kart inspection is from 9.30am. All teams must be registered and their karts inspected during that time. There will be First Aid on site.

The event is raising money for Wicksteed Charitable Trust and competitors are encouraged to dress up themselves and their cars.

Drivers under 18 must complete the Driver Consent Form and have their parent/guardian countersign it as part of the entry process.

Wicksteed Park’s rides and attractions are now open fully for the 2017 season.

It has a host of new attractions for 2017, including the fantastic new Sway Rider wave swing.