We wanted to make a rabbit, but then the turtle beats the rabbit in the proverbial race, so we went for the turtle and ended up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and they love pizza,” says Vasanth Joshua, a 27-year-old art director with the advertising agency, Leo Burnett. He’s trying to explain his team’s entry to the Red Bull Soapbox race — it’s a car shaped as a giant pizza slice.
Joshua, two of his colleagues, Kunal Mashettiwar and Kenneth Barnes, and their friend Shalini Avadhani, are the Ninja Turtles, one of the 70 teams competing in the race on Sunday, December 2.
“We’d all heard of the soapbox races abroad and when I saw the ad on TV, I convinced my team to participate,” says Joshua. The team of youngsters — all of whom are in their 20s — brainstormed for exactly five minutes before coming up with the concept. “We just made the deadline and immediately got to work on our car,” says Barnes.
Joshua and Mashettiwar went scouting at Crawford Market for materials and got so confused that they just sat in a restaurant for a couple of hours before returning home. “This went on for a couple of days before we visited the stores and told the shopkeepers that we’re building a car. That’s when the floodgates opened and everyone started giving us their opinions on the right materials, mechanisms and everything in between,” says Joshua. The team decided on the design and started putting the car together, from scratch, in their office premises, where it’s getting the finishing touches.
The team plan to dress up as the four Ninja Turtles, and their performance will be centred around the characters as well. They have been putting in hours after work and on weekends. For now, spirits are high and the foursome posed merrily for our photographer, amidst friendly banter.
Barnes is the designated driver and when asked about the sturdiness of their vehicle he joked, saying, “We’ll redefine the popular South Park line ‘they killed Kenny’.”