Red Bull Soap Box Race 2024: Chaos At Every Turn

  • Mar 17, 2024
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The race was like something we had never seen before and the cars’ design stood out more than their performance in the race

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

There I was packing my bag as I was about to head to Hyderabad. Not for pleasure, not for a vacation, but to attend a race. As an auto journalist, going to watch a race is something that I’ve been looking forward to, but this was no regular race. I was headed to Hyderabad to attend the 2024 Red Bull Soap Box race, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

What’s A Soap Box Race?

For those who don’t know, a Soap Box race is not like your regular race where cars are on a track with each other and competing for the podium. In a Soap Box race, teams have to make their own cars (which can look like literally… anything), and each team gets the track to themself to have their go in it.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

However, these cars are not like any other race car, where they have a mighty engine, multiple sensors to keep track of data and a fully fledged cockpit with the highest safety standards. Yes, they do have a steering wheel to control the car, brakes to stop it, and suspension to absorb the bumps. But they do not have any engine or motor, and instead run solely on a push-start which is further assisted by gravity.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race Jury

The teams score points based on three things: their performance before they get on the track, the time they take to complete the track, and how their car looks. And this is why this race was one-of-a-kind.

Funky Designs

There were so many of them that if I tried to name them all, this article would never be over. So, I have a few picks that were my favorite, and one of them was the winner. The first and my absolute favorite was a car by the name of “Lendibox.” It is going to be hard for me to explain what it looks like, so here is an image of it in action.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

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Yes, it is literally a box for your… nevermind, you get the point. Another one was the Kranken Wagen, which was just a hospital bed being driven by what looked like a man with a broken leg. This was so funny to watch when it passed by me that I just sat down to let my laugh out, by the time I got up, the Kranken Wagen had completed the track. 

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

And lastly, the third one which I liked was from the team called Hera Pheri. And yes, it was completely inspired from the cult classic movie that was released in 2000. The reason why it was different from the rest was because the car was being driven by a hidden person, and it looked like the guy on top had no control over it, and could fall anytime (which did happen).

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

Apart from these, there were other cars too, like the Buttmobile, which was just the Batmobile with two buckets at the back. There was a team called the Indestructibles, which had a car shaped like the Nokia 3310, a phone which can probably survive a nuclear blast, and a team called Biryani Ki Sawari, which was just a huge pot of Biryani with the driver dressed like a chicken leg piece (You can’t go to Hyderabad and not try the biryani, by the way).

Ready. Dance. Go.

But looking at these cars in action was more fun than anything. Before any team pushed their car down the ramp, they had to do a performance, which sometimes was just a dance (the participants were not good dancers), and sometimes it was a skit which was funnier than the car itself.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

As the first car rolled down the ramp, the excitement in my body escalated. The entirety of the race was around 3 hours, and I did not stop smiling once. And because I had so much Red Bull in my system, I didn’t even feel tired. 

Every turn was a challenge for these cars and every ramp could be the last. There was so much chaos and so much noise, yet that was shadowed by the laughs and cheers. Everywhere I looked there was a happy person enjoying every second of this hilarious race.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

There were some fender-benders too. Some cars lost their wheels, some could not finish due to breakdowns (yes, breakdowns, in a car without an engine), and the Hera Pheri car just flipped at the first turn. This was unexpected but as they flipped, the fake currency in their car just flew out making an epic scene.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race Winners

And the winner? The Kranken Wagen. A guy with a fake broken leg, lying on a soap box car shaped like a hospital bed took the top step with a great design and great performance. 

Can I Go Back?

If I had the power to go back to that exact day and watch the exact same race, I would do it over and over again. This was the first time I experienced a soap box race in person and it was a day to remember. I feel like each moment of the race has been imprinted in my mind and I won’t be able to erase any of it (not like I want to).

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

The beauty of the city, the smiles on the faces of people, the cars, performances, and the race: all of these things came together to make a great event. Also, who can forget Hyderabadi biryani. I will always remember this day, not because it was my first soap box race, but because I never, for a single second, thought that I am here for work, plan content, or shoot.

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

Not once did these thoughts come to mind, and as I enjoyed the race, spoke to the participants, joked around, and clicked photos, everything automatically fell into place. I came back with a smile on my face, some great photos and videos on my phone, a stomach filled with Hyderabad’s famous biryani, and some memories that I will never forget. 

2024 Red Bull Soap Box Race

Before I go, here is another image of the Lendibox. Enjoy your food.

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