Northampton's hopes for soapbox racing victory in the hands of four friends and their wild west wagon

A team of four lads dressed as horses steering a wild west wagon will represent Northampton at the annual Red Bull Soapbox Race next month.

Thursday, 15th June 2017, 5:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 3:21 pm
The Muel Fuelers' prototype soapbox races down a private road.

Northampton's own team "The Mule Fueler" will be going for gold at the world famous downhill crash course on July 9 in London.

They are racing in a homemade cart styled after a horse-drawn western wagon driven by two pilots dressed in horse masks and onesies.

Team captain and pilot Tom Purvis-Hislop, 24, said: "We're ecstatic. I couldn't believe it when we got the email saying we had got into the race.

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The Muel Fueler's with their prototype wagon.

"We've just found out our soapbox design is a lot smaller than most others. Fitting two blokes in there is going to be a bit of a squeeze."

The Mule Fueler team is made up of Tom and his friends Chris Beevers, Zak Lloyd and Dave Turton, who are all coworkers at an engineering company in Northampton.

Their soapbox will be built with a wooden base, spoked wheels and the classic canvas cover.

Competitors at the Red Bull Soapbox Race get 20 seconds to introduce themselves to the audience before hurtling down the track in their handmade cars. The winners are picked based on speed, creativity and showmanship.

The team must build and test their own soapbox.

Tom said: "We're going to put on a little show before we set off. Basically, our crew members Chris and Dave are wild west bandits robbing the Red Bull Bank. But when they try to make their getaway in the wagon, the horses, played by me and Zak, jump in and drive off instead.

"We first got involved just for fun, but we've come this far and put so much effort into it that I think we're in it to win it now."

The downhill course is 450m long and features ramps, bends and jumps. In 2015, the fastest course run was 34.4 seconds with a top speed of 29.5mph.

Tom said: "The event is such a good day out. You're only racing for about a minute so we're looking forward to meeting all the other teams and watching some racing."

The Muel Fueler's with their prototype wagon.

Find out more about the team from Northampton at The Mule Fueler facebook page.Tickets for the Red Bull Soapbox Race have now sold out, but it will be broadcast on the day on TV channel Dave.

The team must build and test their own soapbox.