Speed Records Smashed

New records were set on Cairngorm Mountain last weekend as 30 brave – some would say foolhardy – teams took part in the 3rd Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme. Powered only by gravity, they raced down the ski road from the Coire na Ciste car park to the Glenmore snow gates reaching speeds in excess of 70mph.

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C12 - King of the MountainC12 - King of the Mountain

Cairngorm Soapbox. This is how we roll.

Cairngorm - This is how we roll...

Adventure Show's Deziree WilsonDeziree Wilson filming for The Adventure Show

Team C12’s Steve Thomas  from Wiltshire took the King of the Mountain trophy for the second  year despite stiff opposition from LG Racing, Centa Bavaria, Pist’n’Broke, Team Rooket and many more. Steve set a new track record when he was twice clocked going through the speed trap half way down the course at 70mph, beating the record he set last year by 6mph. Both he and other teams saw their speedometers showing figures faster than this elsewhere on the course.

In a thrilling final, Steve demonstrated his superior driving skills by performing a breathtaking manoeuvre to drive around the outside of Lee at The Switch, and from then on he was uncatchable. Lee was also passed by Andy Ash (Centa Bavaria) and Graham Kerr (Pist’n’Broke), but fought back and crossed the line in second place, only inches ahead of Andy at the end of the two mile course.

While not everyone was travelling quite that fast, the competition was still close all the way through the event, with equally close racing in the consolation finals. As well as the seasoned and hard-core gravity racers, there were a few new faces in the field this year, including The Adventure Show’s Deziree Wilson. She was competing in a gravity race for the very first time and in a cartie borrowed from the Scottish Cartie Association. Although rather off the pace, she really enjoyed taking part and meeting all the gravity racers. Her exploits were filmed and will feature in the show in the near future.

The event was not without mishaps, however. John Morran of  Strathgryffe Motorcycle Club was hurt when his gravity sidecar crashed during practice on Friday. He was attended to by the medical team on the course – provided by the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Patrol with their usual calm and quiet efficiency – and was subsequently taken to Raigmore Hospital where he was kept in for observation and tests before being released on Sunday with no serious injuries. Steven Heape from Wiltshire was also attended to at the scene after rolling his cartie on the fastest part of the course during the elimination heats on Saturday. He was taken to the Aviemore Health Centre for further checks before returning to the course later that evening to watch the finals and the prize ceremony.

In addition to the prizes on the day, some of the teams were also competing in the last round of the Scottish Cartie Association Championship. Run over the four main cartie races in Scotland, the championship had been very close all seaons and at least 5 teams arrived at Cairngorm with the chance of glory. Even as they lined up for the finals there was no way to know who would win, and even after the breathtaking final two teams were tied on points. Team Rooket and Centa Bavaria both finished on 17 points, with only the greater number of events entered tipping the balance in favour of Team Rooket.

And so that's it for another year, but planning for the 2012 Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme has already begun and a date has been set. 13th & 14th July 2012. Nae jessies.


King of the Mountain (Soapbox)

  1. C12
  2. LG Racing
  3. Centa Bavaria

King of the Mountain (Sidecar)

  1. Team Blackbird
  2. Bush Racing
  3. Team CC

Flying Scotsman

  1. C12 (70mph)
  2. LG Racing (67mph)
  3. Centa Bavaria (64mph)

SCA Champion (Soapbox)

  1. Team Rooket
  2. Centa Bavaria
  3. Pist'n'Broke

SCA Champion (Sidecar)

  1. Team Weasel & Bush Racing (tied) 

Full Results