Soapbox Derby will be back again next year

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Ballymena’s super soapbox derby will be back next year - and the organisers plan to make it an even more successful event!

Ballymena North Ballymena Community Cluster hosted the first ever Soapbox Derby to be held in Ballymena recently and the success of the event astonished everyone involved.

Flying machine - the DJR Contracts team with their winning kart

Flying machine - the DJR Contracts team with their winning kart

Around 500 spectators flocked to Woodside Road to see the action and they were not disappointed.

Sixteen brave drivers and their karts were to speed down the Woodside Road over two runs with cumulative times counting for first ,second and third prizes.

There was also a trophy for best built kart which actually went to the only female driver on the day from Antrim.

Sixteen karts participated and each competitor found the course challenging. So fast was the course that a chicane had to be put in place to slow the karts down .

Racing lasted two hours as each kart on an individual basis was timed twice over the distance.

Chairman of North Ballymena Community Cluster, David McGuckin said: “Obviously a tremendous amount of work went into the organisation and management of the event. I thank all the organising committee for their efforts, help and support on the day. Special thanks to Kevin McCrudden who took an awful amount of work on board.

“The event would not have been possible if it were not for the help and support of so many volunteers, companies and agencies who supported the event.”

The cluster would like to thank the following person/s.

Nigel Redmond and Jackson Kirk representing Moore Concrete with their supporters prior to the race. Submitted

Nigel Redmond and Jackson Kirk representing Moore Concrete with their supporters prior to the race. Submitted

Permission from All Saints G.A.C to use their car parking facilities; Ace Fixings for sponsorship for prizes; P.S.N.I for the road closure and attendance on the day; Order Of Malta were in attendance but fortunately there wer eno injuries; McBurney transport for the use of their lorry and driver Paddy Donnelly; Wilsons of Ratkenny for the use of a quad to pull the karts up the course to the start line.

Starter Anthony Frazer who did a great job in conjunction with Kevin McCrudden who kept the time for each kart.

Special thanks are extended to the residents of Woodside Road for their cooperation and underatanding.

Paul Dempster kept the excitement levels up throughout the day with his commentary (sound system supplied by Andy Thompson) and Brian Reynolds from Q radio broadcast details of the event to their audience on more than one occasion.

Best build award for this super kart superbly painted in 'racing green'

Best build award for this super kart superbly painted in 'racing green'

The Cluster would also thank Ronny McFall from Tesco who provided free of charge burgers and water on the day.

Thanks also to the ladies from Doury Road Development Group who on a very hot day cooked burgers ,sausages and attended to a large number of hungry spectators.

David added: “It would be impossible to thank each person on an individual basis but thanks to those members from North End and District F.C.

“One individual who does need a special thanks is Robin Lynn as he put a tremendous amount of work into the success of the day. Robin was also the person who built the kart that finished second and was only beaten by the smallest of margins.The cluster would also thank the Ballymena Times for continued support and coverage of the evemnt from start to finish.

“We as an organisation were privileged to have hosted an event that brought so many persons from different backgrounds together to engage in true community spirit. Thanks to everyone for making it a success.”

The Ballymena North kart which finished second.

The Ballymena North kart which finished second.

Ready for the long haul to the top of the Woodside Road. Submitted

Ready for the long haul to the top of the Woodside Road. Submitted

One of the fastest karts on the course - the 'Lucy Streek' team were among the first to register at the Soapbox Derby

One of the fastest karts on the course - the 'Lucy Streek' team were among the first to register at the Soapbox Derby

Built for speed - the Red hot Randalstown entry and the 'Dark destroyer' Submitted

Built for speed - the Red hot Randalstown entry and the 'Dark destroyer' Submitted

The Carruthers brothers from Portglenone entered as 'Bathtub Racers'

The Carruthers brothers from Portglenone entered as 'Bathtub Racers'