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Wacky race thrills and spills at Thetford Soapbox Challenge

PUBLISHED: 17:19 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:40 26 May 2019

Entrants in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Entrants in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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Wacky races returned as crowds lined the streets to see weird and wonderful homemade karts compete to be the fastest in Thetford.

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Having proved to be a big hit since it first got the green light in 2017 the third Thetford Soapbox Challenge was no less competitive or fun.

Local teams from all walks of life again competed against each other in a bid to see who can race down Kings Street the fastest in a bid to be crowned champions.

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

The 'gravity vehicles' careered along a downhill course from Market Place in a series of time trial runs along a course that included some makeshift chicanes and ramps.

Everything from a mini-hearse to what looked like a souped-up shopping trolley lined up on the starting grid and enjoyed varying degrees of success as they raced down the hill

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

A couple of light showers failed to dampen spirits at the Thetford Town Council-organised event where at least 500 spectators soaked up the trackside atmosphere, enjoyed an ice cream, listened to a DJ and browsed the 'team pits' set up at Market Place.

In the end the winner was the pirate themed 'AAR's', involving a team from Thetford-based business Advanced Air UK, that clocked an impressive run at just 16.86 seconds. At the wheel was Captain Jack Sparrow costumed Tim Gibbons.

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

He said: "We raced the same kart last year and won the best costume. We certainly didn't think we would win fastest this year looking at some of these other karts but I'm chuffed we did, especially as we had to miss one of the runs because our back brake snapped.

"We got the fastest time on the very last run. It's the team's pushing that does it without them you wouldn't get any proper speed because it is not steep enough.

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Neil DidsburyCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Neil Didsbury

"Most of us work for the same company. It's a real team effort. When we put the kart together last year we built it in three weeks. We are already building a second car so that next year."

The trophy for Best Kart went to Pat's Barmy Army while Best Dressed was awarded to Hearsula, entered by Mark Skinner Funeral Service.

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Crowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon ParkinCrowds watch as teams race down Kings Street in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Simon Parkin

Entrants in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Neil DidsburyEntrants in the Thetford Soapbox Challenge with prizes for the fastest, best dressed and best kart. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Thetford Soapbox fastest kart winners Tim Gibbons, 47, from Thetford, and Jim Makeham, 55, from Barnham. Picture: Neil DidsburyThetford Soapbox fastest kart winners Tim Gibbons, 47, from Thetford, and Jim Makeham, 55, from Barnham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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