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Bradford Super Soapbox Challenge 2024

Having participated in the inaugural Bradford Super Soapbox Challenge 2022 where we took home a trophy for Most Innovative Cart, we dusted off our lighthouse mobile, ready to race again in 2024.  A team consisting of Support, R&D and Network engineers got together at lunch times and after working hours to strip down, repair and get our entry ready for race day.  As the papier mache Lighthouse (a nod to our Surfprotect logo) was in a bit of poor state we went back to basics and went for a more streamlined look.

With the cart’s steering rods replaced, a new braking system and a fresh lick of paint and graphics applied, Team Exa (“Have You Tried Turning It Off Then On Again”) were ready to race against 19 other participants!

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The soapbox race consists of three timed heats down the City Centre course, with the fastest time counting to the overall position before the top-10 grand final.  The team decided to rotate drivers to give everybody a turn.   First down the track was Richard who clocked 52.45 seconds.. already faster than our previous record of 54s in 2022, goes to show how important aerodynamics are when designing a cart!

Next up was Benjamin who (with a sizeable push-start down the ramp) managed a fantastic 48.09 seconds!

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Then it was Dean’s turn and with an even harder shove from the other team members clocked 41.90 seconds. We were close to the top 10 but just slightly short.

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Unexpectedly the day was running a bit quicker than the organisers expected so all teams got an extra 4th run down the course. Rich took the wheel again and to much surprise we clocked an Exa record time of 40.48 seconds! Sadly this was just short of the top 10 and we managed 13th place in the heats leaderboard.

We stayed to watch the final 10 which was highly eventful, with a cart expected to win crashing out on the first corner. The overall winner (The Batmobile) came in with a fantastic 30.75 seconds.

All in all, a brilliant day and a great staff team building exercise.  We’re certainly looking forward to competing again in 2025!

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