We had a superb day at the Royal Deeside Speed Festival this year, once again sponsoring the Soap Box Derby event. Westburn Finance’s Operations Director Kenny Logan spent the day in the soap box paddock, chatting to teams and admiring the hard work they had put into their racers, ahead of his role as the man in charge of giving out the prizes for the soap box event!
The Soap Box Derby sees teams competing to design, build and race “Soap Boxes”, “Gravity Racers” or “Carties”… call them what you will, the aim remains the same!
As ever, no propulsion is allowed other than from the push-start. Teams then have to navigate their way down the majestic sweeping drive at Kincardine Castle to the finish line – overcoming a chicane and a tricky jump on the way.
Each year the event has a theme and this year, 2016’s “super-heroes” gave way to the excellent theme of “Vintage Racers” for 2017. In-keeping with the theme, there were some majestically turned out Soap Boxes and brilliantly attired teams. The mammoth effort that the teams went to with their soap box designs and costumes really enhances arguably the best thing about the race, which is the family friendly atmosphere and jovial competition between racers.
The buzz around the start line was palpable, and the excitement built towards the first practice run at around 1pm. The practice run gave the teams a first look at the newly extended 500 metre track, as well as the chicane and jump. It also provided an opportunity to bask in the adoration of the crowd without the pressure of competition. The practice wasn’t timed so it was pretty hard to call who the front runners were, which made it all the more exciting when it came to the race!
There was certainly some speed being carried across the line throughout the practice run, with some of the crowd looking concerned that the breaking distance before the waiting recovery truck wasn’t sufficient. However, their fleeting worry was unfounded as the team’s engineering prowess clearly extended to stopping power as well as speed. All soap boxes were loaded safely onto the waiting recovery truck and taken back to the paddock to await the main event.
The break between Soap Box runs gave Kenny the chance to enjoy the event, and to soak in the atmosphere.
He said, “The whole event and the experience on the day was superb this year. The organisation on entry, car parking, and the flow through the venue was much improved on last year. The food offering was superbly organised, delicious and diverse, catering to everyone’s tastes.”
Back to the race and Kenny thoroughly enjoyed watching the push starts. To the cheers of thousands, the Soap Boxes made their way down the course.
Though it was a tough one to call, Kenny’s favourite moment of the day went to ‘The Scooby Boys’, who somehow recovered from a major chicane wobble to take the jump. When the dust had settled the victorious team were thebrilliantly named, ‘Colliewobbles’, expertly driven by Adam Collie into first place. Second prize went to ‘Team Massie-Ferrari’s tractor inspired racer, which also scooped the award for the Most Entertaining Team. The final podium place was taken by the brilliant ‘Carnegie Fuels’ team. The prize for best overall Soap Box was won by ‘Ecurios Ecosse’ with a beautifully turned out blue racer, sporting Elf decals and looking every inch the 1970s Tyrrell.
When presenting the trophies, Kenny was keen to praise the work which had gone into each and every racer, and the spirit in which the teams competed.
To top off an amazing day of activity, Kenny even managed to find time to look at a few of the beautiful cars at the festival. His car-spotting moment of the day was when he has a closer look at a Tesla Model X.
“The interior was simply incredible. It was parked next to the new Bentley Bentayga, and it somehow managed to make that look ordinary by comparison – utterly fantastic!”
The Westburn Finance team are looking forward to next year’s race and hope to see many of our customers and friends there.