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Team Spitphya Win With Rodends.co.uk

Posted on 14th Aug 2013 @ 9:48 AM

Team Spitphya Win With Rodends.co.uk

RodEnds.co.uk sponsored Team Spitphya have won the 2013 London Red Bull Soap Box Race.

Dubbed the “world’s wackiest road race”, the Red Bull Soap Box Race is held in cities across the world. Last in the UK in 2003, this year’s event was held at Alexandra Palace in north London.

70 competitors were selected from several thousand applications and included a coffin, an 8 foot effigy of Usain Bolt, a slice of Victoria sponge cake and a rolling rugby scrum. Each team was judged not only on their time down the hill but also the creativity of their theme and ability to entertain 20,000 noisy spectators with a 20 second performance before their run.

The course was run down 430m of North London hillside incorporating 3 jumps and a set of stairs designed to create as much carnage as possible. The crowds weren’t disappointed with numerous spectacular crashes throughout the day at speeds of up to 40mph. Blood was spilt and bones broken. Parc fermé tellingly comprised of two lanes, one for ‘keepers’ and a skip!

Team Spitphya’s soap box, named the ‘Phyabird’ was inspired by land speed record breakers of the 20s and 30s; Malcolm Campbell, John Cobb, Henry Seagrave et al.

Mark Wells, Ian Wride, Greg Seed, Roy Norton and Thomas Kasher, a group of workmates from motorcycle design agency Xenophya Design, employed the same processes that they apply in their ‘day jobs’ in the creation of the Phyabird. The tubular spaceframe was designed in CAD to fit perfectly around driver Greg Seed who was digitised using a FARO arm. A full scale clay model of the land speed racer style body was then created which was then moulded in fibreglass and painted in Bluebird Blue.

“We've ended up taking this project a bit too seriously - and allowed it to take over most of our lives.” Said team captain and Xenophya Director Mark Wells. “The goal was always to be first down the hill, no matter what the judges thought of us”.

In the quest to be fastest Rod Ends were approached for assistance in selecting Rose joints to complete the double wishbone suspension. RodEnds.co.uk provided a full set of high end motorsport rod ends that enabled the adjustment that was required. “The ability to fine tune the geometry made all the difference” said Greg, “the rose joints allowed us to run a set up that felt so stable it was like a small car. Getting the wheels perfectly aligned made a huge difference to the speed of the cart where any sort of resistance is massively detrimental”.

The Phyabird achieved it’s objective of being fastest in style. Greg piloted the cart down the course in 33.57 seconds, some 3 seconds faster than the runners up, hitting the final ramp at around 40mph and flying approximately 10 metres through the air! Combined with a judges’ score of 39 out of 40 for the performance this put Team Spitphya on the top step of the podium.

“We’re elated to have won the event” said Mark, “it goes some way to justifying the immense amount of work that has gone into the build”. Team Spitphya would like to thank Carter bearings and all those that supported them in kindly donating components and time to help them to victory. With some minor repair work to do, the Phyabird will hopefully be appearing at soap box events around the country later in the year.