Gallery: Father and son triumph in wacky races

A COLLECTION of weird and wacky contraptions took to the tarmac to take part in a thrilling soapbox car competition in a Suffolk village yesterday.

Elliot Furniss

A COLLECTION of weird and wacky contraptions took to the tarmac to take part in a thrilling soapbox car competition in a Suffolk village yesterday.

The Bank Holiday race meeting was held in Botesdale, near Eye, and was the fifth annual contest, organised by Morag and Chris Burnard, who own the Greyhound pub.

The Street, which is a large hill running through the centre of the village, was closed for most of the day as dozens of competitors tried their luck in time trials, heats quarter and semi finals.


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The overall winners were Billy Baxter, 49, and his 14-year-old son Liam, who won the adult and junior contests respectively.

Mr Baxter, who was born and bred in Botesdale, won the challenge with his car Mean Machine for the second year running and joked that if he wins again next year they should rename The Street as “Baxter's Hill”.

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He said: “It's all about when you have the push-off, and transferring the weight to the front of the car.

“There was some stiff competition this year - it was close and I lost one race in the preliminary heats. But it's a double celebration with my son Liam. We were up early this morning making the tyres into slicks and now we're going to party the night away in the Greyhound.”

Mrs Burnard said that since it was launched five years ago the annual race day had quickly become a “fabulous community event”.

She said: “It's been a perfect day - we've been lucky every year with the weather. We've had people come from as far as Cambridge to enter. We had nine children and 23 adults compete in time trials first of all and then we use these times to form the heats.

“There was a really exciting final which featured a false start and we had to run it again. The biggest enjoyment with any hospitality business is watching people have a good time.”

Last year the event raised nearly �600 from sponsorship, parking fees and street collections and Mr and Mrs Burnard are hoping for even more this time.

All cash raised at the event will be divided between local causes and the East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

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