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A double page report with pictures appeared in the Eastern Daily Press on Tuesday 31 May, 2016


On a wind-swept dull morning a metal and wooden structure is assembled on a closed road in Norfolk. A launch ramp is born:
Launch ramp


Later, about 200m away, spectators gather near a commentary/timing tower which will become known as 'allotment corner'.
Spectators at allotment corner


Scrap carts are loaded onto the launch ramp and sent on their way:

Initially the incline is gentle, just enough to keep going while the competitors learn how to control their contraptions. Then the slope increases and they are confronted with obstacles ...

The carts

Chaos and Mayhem

The overall winner of the competition. It wasn't the fastest, although it came a very close second but won because of its scrap material credentials with almost everything coming out of the bin. A tough design with roll cage:
Chaos and Mayhem

Barnham Broom Bullet

Barnham Broom Bullet Uh oh, some serious stability problems with this trike design. Its pivoting (and loose) front axle made it incredibly difficult to keep upright. With a little help it made it down the track once before retiring, however I am assured that if there is a 2017 race the "Barnham Broom Bullet 2" will resurrect itself, phoenix like, and take on all who dare:
Barnham Broom Bullet

Trikey McTrikeface

Our youngest constructor with a very creditable machine. Simple is beautiful and in this case the low centre-of-gravity and solid tread-less rear wheels allowed for some spectacular sliding and skidding tricks, a very controllable show stopper, here he is drifting it through the chicane:
Triky McTrikeface

Team Sprockets

Team Sprockets An engineering masterpiece with its wheelchair wheels, aluminium ladder chassis, disk brakes and waste bin bonnet. The steering used an old hand drill to change the direction of movement. A beautiful machine following many automotive conventions.

A crowd pleaser with its honk-honk horn, but surprisingly for such a well built machine, not up with the pace of the fastest competitors. A view of the rear axle with its extreme camber angle as Team Sprockets negotiates allotment corner:
Team Sprockets

Carty McCartface

Launch ramp An old post bike, with a custom front end. A fabricated Ackerman type steering arrangement, controlled by two handle bars. Rather high centre-of-gravity, but a quick machine - in fact it squeaked the quickest timed run of the day.

Showing off with pink smoke pouring out of its chimney. Confident at the top of the launch ramp (opposite) but approaching the height restriction there looks to be some concern on that face:
Carty McCartface

Extreamo Supremo

The youngest driver. Based on a children’s go-kart front end and pram rear axle with extra fairing and colourful streamers. Its small wheels let it down a bit on the long straight following the launch ramp, but when on the steeper part of the course Extreamo Supremo put in a creditable performance:
Extreamo Supremo

Jode's Joy

An old shopping trolley - all shopping trolleys should be like this! A detachable steering wheel was essential to allow the driver to install himself. Its small (wobbly) wheels from a sack barrow did rather let it down on the speed front, but it had no difficulty at all under the height restriction and reliably made each run. As its name suggests ... a joy to see:
Jode's Joy

Judge's Jelopie

Only one person crashed badly and that was the 'Judge's Jelopie', unfortunately no one was there to see it or take pictures. It happened early in the morning while evaluating how to set up the track: going too fast round allotment corner the back 'stepped out' on loose gravel and ended up sideways. Unlike Trikey McTrikeface which could do sideways drifts all day, the extra weight of the 'big' driver and the larger wheels resulted in a major wheel buckling event and the cart rolled ... oops! The gravel was swept up before the race and a chicane added to slow things down a touch.

There is no additional welding on this lever operated rear steer trike, just the steering head of an old bike and a couple of bits of angle iron as brackets, the rest is wood, glues and screws. Since both hands are needed to operate the steering levers, the brake (rear wheel only) is operated with a foot pedal.

To start the racing the 'Judge's Jelopie' made one run with its rather bent wheel:
Judge's Jelopie

Next Year?

This was a one-off experiment, but a number of people have asked for another race next year. If I do it will of course be 'bigger and better', but nothing is decided yet, watch this space.


Images with thanks to: Jeremy Woods, Ian Milligan, Richard Manning, Martyn Keegan-Hack, Micheal Gateshill