Wheels fixed? Check. Brakes tested? Check. Completely bonkers costume ready? Check.

Across the city these last minute preparations are underway as York revs up for another day of daft stunts and wacky races.

Micklegate Soapbox Challenge

The York BID Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge will see 40 hand-made carts hurtle down the city’s royal street in a day of thrills, spills and gravity-powered high jinks.

Sponsored this year by The York BID (Business Improvement District) and organised by the Micklegate Business Initiative, the family-friendly event will see groups, companies and organisations putting their vehicles to the test.

100mph racer

This year’s event will be opened by “Fast Donnie” Schoettler, the 60 year old world record holder at gravity racing, who has reached speeds of 99.41mph in a gravity-powered car at an event last year.

Andrew Lowson, executive director of the event’s sponsor York BID, can’t wait for the fun to begin. He said:

  • The Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge is a truly unique event to York, and last year saw around 20,000 crowd the pavements the length of Micklegate to watch soapbox cars of all shapes and sizes zoom off from the starting ramp and make the full journey down the hill, including the infamous bone-shaking cobbles towards the bottom of the hill.

    There can be few better ways of reminding people of Micklegate’s unique charms and showcase the businesses along the street, and we’re delighted to be working with the Micklegate Business Initiative on this year’s event.

Indeed, a team from York BID’s Street Rangers will be participating in the race in a specially-built soapbox, raising money for York Rescue Boat.

Huge amount for charity

Last year’s event drew 20,000 people
Each team will compete to complete the fastest run in their cart. But maybe not too fast, says lead organiser Julian Smith, who runs the café at 84 Micklegate:

  • We’re delighted to have ‘Fast Donnie’ along to help us open this year’s event, though I should imagine that few competitors will hope to achieve the normal speed limit of 20mph, let alone nearly 100mph in the assorted vehicles we have entering.

    We are, however, hoping to raise a huge amount of money for charity through sponsorship, with each team nominating their own good causes. We’ve just got our fingers crossed that the good summer weather holds, as the cobbles are tricky enough to navigate when they are dry!