Sunday, May 25, 2008

Red Bull gives you wings ... and a fast ride down the hill at Stormont

There was a family atmosphere up at Stormont estate this afternoon as people enjoyed the sunshine and soaked in the thrills and spills of the Red Bull-sponsored soapbox cars hurtling down the twisty course laid out on the main Stormont driveway. The grey car pictured immediately below from Ruddell Metals in Hillsborough was the eventual winner - with a cracking time down the course.

Big screens and a live commentary kept the crowds informed of what had gone wrong at every turn ... though this one did go on the blink near the end of the afternoon.

Not everyone made it all the way to the bottom of the course ... and there were a few tense moments as the condition of crashed drivers was checked before showing the much-anticipated action replay of the crash.

While some of the cars might have had serious engineering behind them - though all were gravity powered - no engines allowed - some had obviously skimped on the brakes and invested in roll cages instead.

And performance down the hill wasn't enough. A bit of am dram skills didn't go amiss as successful teams did a bit of song and dance before pushing their eye-catching vehicles over the start line. The final winners were:

  • 1 - Ruddell Metals (Hillsborough)
  • 2 - Top Gunners (Lisburn)
  • 3 - Couch Potatoes (Lifford)
The final ramp - which served as the finish line as well as a method of breaking braking the cars - sorted the sheep from the goats. Very few cars, managed to come to a halt without something falling off.

A great event to have up at Stormont, well stewarded, good weather, and the shuttle buses were busy. And even if the traffic wardens were working overtime ticketing cars that had parked in-between the police cones near the Stormont gates, at least they had the sense not to ticket everyone parked on the Belmont Road pavement near the Old Holywood Road and Massey Avenue.

Update - Check out teedee's great slideshow on Flickr and his photographs of the afternoon's racing.

1 comment:

Jake said...

We need more of this - not only is it a type of jollied up sport for those that participate and those who look on - but an event that surely looks like everyone is enjoying themselves.