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Hundreds turned out to witness Penarth’s wacky racers in soapbox Downhill Derby

DOZENS of carting fans put their very own wacky racers to the test in  the second soapbox Downhill Derby.

Inspired by the popular American cartoon, the madcap event saw teams compete  against each other to see who has built the fastest go-cart.

Last year the event in Penarth attracted around 1,000 people as it became one  of the summer’s most popular and colourful events.

Co-organiser Elliot Penn said the aim was to have as much fun as  possible.

“We want it to be a homemade event. We don’t want a hi-tech event but we want  carts built in people’s garden sheds,” he said.

“Some people are being quite coy about their designs and are keeping them  under wraps until the start of the race and I’m sure there will be some serious  heads.

“But it’s all about having fun. I’ll be racing in a giant piece of cheese and  wearing a mouse suit and I know of another team who have built a bendy-bus – one  of them is in the front and the other is in the back.”

The race started at 3.30pm from the top of Cliff Hill, involved go-carts  racing down the hill at speeds of up to 20mph.

Elliot, 37, who arranged last year’s race with the help of 12-year-old Jamie  Cross and his father, Jerry, said this year’s contest had an extra challenge for  competitors to negotiate in the form of tight chicane.

“This will hopefully make people think a bit about the design of their cart  and will slow the pace down a bit,” he said.

“All the carts are checked before the race for good brakes and steering but  that didn’t stop their being quite a few spills last year.

“All the racers have to wear protective gear such as helmets and they’re not  going that fast so no one gets hurt but some of the crashes last year were  hilarious so we’re hoping for more of the same.”

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