Belchford Downhill Challenge Soapbox Cart Race 2009
Sunday September 13th Furlongs Lane, Belchford Nr. Horncastle
Well, we didn’t get any rest as we had to set to work on our attempt at the Calor Village of the Year (Central Region winners of the Community Category).
A brilliant turn out in a biting wind, with thousands of spectators from far and wide braving the cold. I was really please to see Kerrie from Pebmarsh in Essex (home of the Pebmarsh Billie Cart Grand Prix).
That, with excellent performances from our teams and the wonderful demonstration shows from David Banner in his unbelievably fast hillclimb car, and Lee Wakefield in his recumbant trike, achieving over 50 mph on our hill, made for a wonderful 8th Downhill Challenge.
Our main sponsors, Thurlby Motors, gave us plenty of support again this year with, amongst other cars supplied, a remarkable Hummer tow car.
With 37 carts and over 80 drivers to get down the hill, we were astounded to get to the end of the 4 rounds a good 1 ½ hours early. We made a decision then to run another round which went down very well with the drivers and gave Peter Pope his long awaited return to prominence with a Joint first place with Lee Wakefield.
Newcomers to Belchford, Centa Bavaria took the top two awards with stunning performances. A fine show from old hands MG Car Club (2nd place team event), TES (3rd in Team and 2nd Individual classes) and Binbrook Beaters, who were pipped to third place (individual class) by enthusiastic new entrant, Lee Wakefield with his amazing and sophisticated cart.
Very close racing from the ladies saw just 0.28 seconds separating MG Ladies, Sheila Laurence (1st ) from Moira Black in the trusty old Belchford Endeavour, with MG’s Frances Noble taking third place.
Some pictures from the 2009 Downhill Challenge, click on them for more
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The Junior Class was taken by Jordan Mawer from the great Yarborough School team, with brilliant runs from New Yorker’s Lucy Farrow (2nd) and Sam Windsor from Blue Bandits II (3rd). If we had a prize for enthusiasm, that would surely go to Jack Ramsden (Tetney Raiders) who must have had the biggest grin of the day.
Novelty 1st prize went to the er novel Rolling Reddies, with their tyre shaped cart (½ anyway) with Will Gunn scooping 2nd and third places with The Sod and The Duke. Will was very noticeable in his bishop’s outfit (worn for the novelty cart St Mary’s)
Best turned out went to The Devil’s Rejects beautiful cart, which sadly met a sticky end against one of the bales. They really entered into the spirit of the event, camping at the top of the hill on Saturday night, and having a party (with a barrel of beer! Talk about be prepared).
Spirit of the event went to Mike an Paul from B&W Racing for their great attitude and determination to enjoy themselves in their novel and very scary 4 wheel steering cart.
Other mention must go to veteran competitors Steve an Sarah Bullen in Three Wheelers who managed 7th fastest, 7th Team and 5th Lady in their home made cart built from scrap bikes, very much in the spirit of soapboxing.
It was also great to see Badger Sett showing that Frank Ladlow’s creation from 5 years ago is still competetive, also with Phil giving us some excitement by parking it in the ditch in grand style.
Coolest moment must go to Cookie Monster for nonchalantly reaching out and removing the barrel caught in his wheel, while approaching the bottom chicane.
No report is complete without mentioning those who travelled so far to take part, Stephen McFarlane’s Haldir’s Arrow and Stephen Hall’s Team Weasel from Scotland (take a look at his excellent video), Steve and Jim with Ginger Sheep from Bristol, David Ackroyd from Suffolk as well as those mentioned earlier in the report.
We must mention all those teams who turned out with such enthusiasm and made the event what it is. Without them, there is no Downhill Challenge. Thanks folks.
AS well as the racing, we had local craft and business stalls again this year with more showing up and, of course, the very popular, massive (two) bouncy slides so there was something for all the family.
A big thankyou to everyone involved, helpers, marshals (especially those from outside the village, like Karen and MG), car park providers and operators, sponsors, stallholders, Belchford residents, everyone who contributed in any way, BBC Radio Lincolnshire and everyone else, especially the competitors, their supporters and the spectators.
The three competitors previously mentioned, who were not acknowledged for their third places, will be presented with a rosette or certificate at the Post Downhill get together, kindly being hosted by Applehead Gravity Sport at Cadwell on Saturday 14th of November at 7.00pm. Full results are available from the link on the left (if you find any more errors, please keep quiet, I feel bad enough already).
Full results are available from the link on the left.
For those bitten by the gravity racing bug, check out the other events by following the link on the left.
The 2009 rules and entry forms are still available by clicking the link on the left
Again,Please have a look at our forum link where you can find out lots of information about teams.