Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia will become the latest city to host a Red Bull Soapbox race, in which participants design and build their own non-motorised vehicles, on September 28.
The vehicles must be powered by nothing more than gravity, leg muscles and “perhaps a drop of Red Bull”. Competing teams are judged not only on the time taken to complete the course – which is not always the case, to the utter merriment of onlookers (and often participants) – but also the creativity of vehicle design and the showmanship of the crew.
More than 40 such races have been held around the world since the first one in Brussels in 2000, with a race held earlier this month in Bucharest, Romania. The first race in Sofia will have 62 participants, whose designs have been pre-approved by organisers.
The race itself will be held on the Cherni Vruh Boulevard, with the participants racing downhill – albeit not exactly in a straight line – with the starting line near the James Bourchier metro station and the finish near the City Center Sofia shopping mall. Admission is free of charge.
No designated parking will be made available to spectators, other than existing facilities, such as the parking lot near the James Bourchier metro station. Spectators arriving on bicycles, however, will be able to use guarded parking facilities – one near the starting line and one at the finish line.
The race itself is scheduled to begin at 11am, but arriving early is recommended both in order to get a better viewing spot and also to get a better look at the competing vehicles, which will be on display in a paddock near the starting line between 10am and 11am.
(Photo of Red Bull Soapbox France 2014 race participants: soapbox.redbull.com)