Aston Martin is known for powerful performance cars, but the marque's latest offering is silent and creates zero emissions. It's also much smaller than the average Aston, but don't worry – it isn't a successor to the horrible Cygnet. Meet the Vantage GTE Soapbox, purpose built to take on the Red Bull Soapbox Race in London.
The Red Bull Soapbox Race doesn't get the same coverage as some of the other sports in the energy drink company's stable, but it makes for hilarious viewing. Rallies are held on purpose-built courses that snake their way down busy city streets, where home-made "soapbox racers" – also known as billy karts – are judged on how long it takes them to complete the course, with points also awarded for creativity.
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Based on the V8 Vantage GTE, the little Aston Martin soapbox racer swaps internal combustion for gravity as its power source. Aston Martin Prototype Operations Senior Engineer, Alex Summers, will pilot the car down the hills around Alexandra Palace in London, and Le Mans-winning drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam will also be on hand to provide support.
"When taking on a challenge as big as this it is important to rally your troops and throw everything you've got at it," says David King, President of Aston Martin Racing. "Aston Martin has enjoyed great on-track success with the V8 Vantage GTE so it was the obvious choice for the design of our soapbox entry. I don't think we'll be putting our race drivers in it though as we need them to be in one piece for their next World Endurance Championship race the following week!"
The Red Bull Soapbox Race London 2017 was won by Team Brooklands Special, which stormed down the course in just over 35 seconds. Aston Martin came in second place, followed by an Indiana Jones-themed kart.
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