PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO - Soapbox racers risk all in need for speed on Coleby Downhill Challenge

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There were some hair-raising thrills and spills in the quest for speed, powered by nothing but gravity and a bit of a push in the second Coleby Downhill Challenge.

The inaugural event was held a couple of years ago in the cliff village with numbers this weekend far exceeding the previous occasion.

Organised by Hykeham Lions Club and the Coleby village hall committee, the event saw 34 soapbox carts, gravity bikes and gravity sidecar combinations career down the bale-lined course, with practice rounds on Saturday and the main event on Sunday.

The top carts were reaching speeds in excess of over 50mph along the three-quarter-of-a-mile track, completing it in less than 50 seconds.

Jeff Harwood, from the organising team said it went really well, considering the wet weather, with a turnout of over 1,000 people on the Sunday and many watching the Saturday practice session too.

“It was a big success and tremendous fun.” he said.

Coleby Downhill Challenge 2016. EMN-160613-174028001

Coleby Downhill Challenge 2016. EMN-160613-174028001

“It is a massive increase in numbers since our previous one and the gravity bike racing was a qualifying round for the UK championships, racing for points and hugely competitive, with some competing in America,

“They kept on going in torrential rain - they were all bonkers and just went for it despite the potential handling problems on the wet road.”

There were two or three spills to thrill the crowds while funds were raised for LIVES and Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance. A final figure collected will be announced later.

Mr Harwood added that the riders and drivers love the course: “They say it is one of the best hills and best organised events. it is not just a straight hill. You have to go round corners and they like the challenge.

“People are waking up to the fact that it is not just a silly village event and these are serious competitors,” he said.

“On some carts each wheel costs £2,000.”

The next Cioleby Downhill Challenge will be in June 2018 on a date to be confirmed.