After Formula one fever, racing enthusiasts from all over the country are getting ready for thrills of a different kind — the Red Bull Soapbox Race. Much like cars from The Flintstones, these vehicles run without engines (powered by gravity) and come in wacky designs. The event began in Brussels in 2000 and has travelled the world before making its India debut in Mumbai on December 2.
Participants had to submit plans for their car designs before October 8, along with data on the driver and three other team members and also conceptualise a performance to complement their soapbox car. For this year’s race, 70 entries, some with quirky names like Yerodynamik Yentrads, Cool Geek Che, YaBaDaBaDo-ers and The Smelly Socks, have been chosen. The cars need to have four wheels and a braking mechanism (no hopping off on your feet like on a bicycle) but the rest of the design depends on the contestants’ creativity. On raceday, we can expect to see a replica of the Taj Mahal, the Gateway of India, a nukkad-style pan shop and a pav bhaji stall.
We spoke to one of the teams from Mumbai, which is busy putting the car and performance together. “We wanted our design to scream Mumbai,” says Prasad Iyer, 32-year-old e-commerce professional and member of the team called Twisted Performance. “We thought of typical Mumbai things like vada pav, pav bhaji and the BEST bus but then thought that they were too generic. That’s when we found our final idea — the Scamby Amby.”
The team plans to dress up as corrupt politicians, complete with khadi hats and beacon lights. They even have a performance in mind. “I don’t want to give out too many details but we have something interesting in mind. We’ll be doing something with fake rupee notes as well,” says Iyer.
Raceday is Sunday, December 2 at the Mount Mary Road in Bandra, Mumbai