Soapbox Speed 

Interview: Greg Stuart 

So what does it feel like to careen down a hill in a souped up soapbox car? We spoke to the winners of the Red Bull Soapbox Race 2015

The London leg of 2015’s Soapbox race is over, the crazy DIY constructions have been tested to their limits and beyond, with countless hay bales taking a battering. 

This year’s winners were The Breakfast Club, entered by Absolute Radio presenter Christian O’Connell and his team, who hurtled to victory in a shape-shifting, crowd-pleasing soapbox. We got a chance to sit down with Rich Seale, a team member and Lead Automotive Designer for Seymourpowell.  

For more information on the race and to watch some of the craziest crashes, head on over to

Red Bull Soapbox

Full concentration for the winning team Breakfast Club as they speed down the hill at Red Bull Soap Box in London

© Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Where did the design idea come from?

A lot of people had a hand in it, but it was basically me and my boss Jez [White] who came up with everything and built it. Absolute Radio put a shout out asking if the company we work for, Seymourpowell, could help with the design and the build, and so we ended up taking both of those things on. As a company, we normally do quite serious transport projects, like car design and solving lots of world transport issues, so it was a tribute to our directors that they let us have some fun and do this thing. And it was really great fun.

There was a great atmosphere up on the hill. How did you feel as you were preparing for your run?

I was a bit nervous on my way to the start line, but everything kind of went to plan. We always said going into this, if we do 80% of it right, we’re going to win it. And I think we nailed 90% of it! 

Some of the best and craziest creations at this year’s race 

© Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Content Pool

Did you have strategies for getting your racer down the hill as quickly as possible or was it mostly about the show? [The Breakfast Club’s racer shed first its A-Team van outer skin to reveal a Dodge Charger before shedding that skin to reveal a DeLorean]

Well, we tried to time the reveals, but on the day, you just go with it, don’t you? Most of it was cardboard, so it was very soapbox-y. As for the guys that went in the car, I think Richie [Firth] and Christian [O’Connell, the presenters from the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio] drove it brilliantly and did the stunts perfectly, so I couldn’t have wished for anything more.

What’s your one piece of advice for next year’s competitors?

Think about entertaining the crowd, not just about making a good car. Put on a show! 

Red Bull Soapbox
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07 2015

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