Red Bull Soapbox Race winners – Team Spitphya

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Holidays are great, but they mean you miss out on some amazing stuff – such as watching Team Spitphya win the Red Bull Soapbox Race down Alexandra Palace’s substantial gradient.

Formed by the designers at Xenophya Design, a gang of students from Northumbria University, and a gaggle of helpers and pit crew, the team rolled, leapt and ricocheted their way downhill to victory in the ‘Phyabird’ buggy.

After some manufacturing hiccups they arrived on the starting ramp in London.

In the team’s own words:

“Race day started badly with a few bad crashes at the final jump. The Dambusters, Scotch Eggspress and Sawpoint all took big hits with some broken bones, broken teeth and stitches. Thankfully Red Bull saw sense and turned the ramp around for a less severe launch. There were still crashes galore but thankfully no more serious injuries.


“When our turn arrived, the performance piece went down better than we could have hoped. Owen and VME Ltd. provided the pyros that helped dazzle the judges into giving us a 39 out of 40 (Rob Marshall we will be hunting you down for that last point). Greg was launched down the hill, piloting Phyabird over a spectacular jump to the fastest run of the day of 33.57 secs. With only a few more runners we were confident of a podium until the call came that we were indeed 1st.”


An amazing effort considering the amount of entries, the rough-and-ready nature of the course, and the fact that they also have a fulltime design agency to be running.

Read more about the day job of Xenophya Design team in the special Motorcycle Design edition of DEVELOP3D this September.

Congratulations lads!