Wacky costumes and wackier cars! Brace yourself for the Red Bull SoapBox Racing

Ever thought of riding down the road on a dinosaur? In a UFO? A pair of stilettos? Or perhaps even in a burger? Well, now you can. Here’s your opportunity to drive around in the wackiest of vehicles as the Red Bull SoapBox Racing comes to India. And for a change, all you’ll be hearing is cheering rather than the annoying blaring of horns.

Just steer and brake!

The competition sees enthusiastic competitors zipping along in non-motorised home-made cars through a course featuring bumps and curves. These cars can be in any shape and colour, and can have only a steering wheel and brakes. The past races have seen cars in the shape of a piano, a baby carriage, a rodeo clown, a cob of corn, a jail cell, hot dogs, and Golden Gate Bridge, to name a few.

Wondering why it’s called soap box? Apparently, earlier, the cars used in Soap Box Derby were made out of wooden soap boxes! According to Red Bull, the first Soap Box Racing took place in 1933 in the U.S.

The first Red Bull SoapBox Race took place in Brussels in 2000. Ever since, the energy drink company has organised this zany race in 77 cities across 40 countries before coming to India.

The Indian edition of the race will take place on December 2 in Mumbai. The venue is still undisclosed, but it’s going to be some place in Bandra. Here’s a hint — such races typically take place on a slope. So, start scouring the streets of Bandra for inclined terrains.

But if you wish to participate, first register on www.redbull.in/soapbox. September 30 is the last date for sending in your applications. The Red Bull team will send you an Experimental Kit for you to sketch your project design. The car has to be less than six-ft wide and 20-ft long. The height should not exceed seven feet and weight, 176 pounds. The last date for sending in your sketches is October 8.

Once that is done, a panel of judges will shortlist 70 teams for the race. So far, they have received around 300 entries from all over the country.

“We have three criteria for selection — creativity of the soap box, speed at which it moves and distance covered, and showmanship — how the team introduces itself,” says a Red Bull representative.

A team consists of four participants. People of any age group can participate, however, the one at the driver’s seat has to be 18 years or above. There will be three winners.

So let your creativity flow. This is one opportunity where you can even dress in spandex and feathers, cover yourself in paint and sequins, wear colourful wigs and drive around in an unbelievably bizarre car. And the next time someone says they spotted a UFO on the road, you have every reason to believe it.