The soapbox began construction in April with the majority of the build being completed by Apprentice Engineer, Rupert Rolfe. Thomas Poulter and Dylan Wilkinson then took ‘Dumpy McDumpface’ to the streets of Duxford to compete against six other vehicles.
The team had a strong start and set off at speed with Tom pushing and Dylan steering the soapbox. As they turned the first corner though, things started to go wrong for the team with a loud bang signalling the loss of one of the wheels. After rounding the corner, Tom was faced with an uphill climb which saw the majority of the other teams break away but they were still ahead of several other teams.
Tom and Dylan swapped positions several times along the route in a bid to keep up momentum and kept pace with two other teams until they rounded the final corner and faced another uphill stretch. Their fellow teams broke away, leaving Tom and Dylan struggling. The cheers and applause from the crowd kept them going though and they crossed the line in one piece but utterly exhausted! They were later awarded the wooden spoon, which had previously been won by another team a few years running. They were more than happy to hand this special accolade to the Volvo team who accepted the award in good spirits.
Richard Hosker, Workshop Manager at Duxford, comments; “The apprentices have enjoyed building the soapbox, and particular thanks go to Rupert who carried out 95% of the build. Everyone agreed the soapbox looked fantastic and it was popular on the day but I think next year we need to build a lighter, leaner machine to take on the competition. We will be back!”
Tom adds, “It was a lot tougher than we expected, it really was hard work pushing the soapbox around the course. However we really enjoyed the day and we are really proud to have represented the company at this event.”
Thank you to everyone who turned up on the day to support the racers, especially Evee (Yvonne) Ford who came to cheerlead in her outfit on the day. Thanks also to everyone who helped raise money for the charity by supporting the summer BBQ, buying raffle tickets and to those who bid on items in the auction.
In total, over £150 was raised for Cancer Research UK.