Thursday, 18 September 2014 Soapbox Race: Update Bulletin Thingy No'1

Right folks this is the 1st official update/bulletin/news thing, so pay close attention!

1) We've had quite a few people asking about weight limits and braking systems. The weight limit and braking rules are obviously in place for safety reasons & it is for that reason we ask you to respect the rules where possible. That said, this isn't Formula One, we're in this to have fun and raise some money for charity and we won't be excluding teams if their kart is a few KG's over the limit. We would ask that common sense and a good sporting nature prevail (please don't turn up with a 2 tonne Trojan Horse and expect it to pass scrutiny!) We also ask that you don't come whinging to us if a kart is a few kg's over the limit or the braking system is a bit different and it starts doing well!! :) And pleeeease don't take this as carte blanche to disregard the rules altogether!!!

2) Towing: If you could fit your Karts with some sort of FRONT & REAR towing eye it would be very helpful as we intend to link karts together to tow them back to the top of the hill.

3) Race format: The race format will depend on no' of entries, weather conditions, fading light & how organised we actually end up being on the day! It is our hope and intention to run 1 practice run, 3 timed runs and if there is time,  a knock-out challenge (where 2 karts will run together)

4) Start: There will be a push start, no ramp.

5) There will be a jump of some description, we hope to make it optional, ie half the roads width.

6) A few people have asked us for sponsorship cards (which we hadn't thought of & is a great idea) We'll be getting some printed up and mailed out to all teams. (this is entirely optional and completely up to you)

That's it for now. Any questions, post them on here or email

Happy building!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Don't Take Things for Granted

A customer is trying to get the best price for his old car as it's being traded in for a brand new model. He informs the dealer that it's in great condition, fully serviced and it has a brand new set of brakes. Just to make sure the dealer takes the car for a spin.
Having returned from the test drive, the dealer is looking rather pale and shocked. He informs the owner that the brakes failed while approaching a roundabout and he narrowly avoided a serious collision but hit a road sign instead. He then had to drive back at a snails pace with no brakes. When questioned about the apparent discrepancy, the owner simply pointed to the brand new set of brakes in a box on the back seat, insisting that the car did have new brakes but added "I just didn't have the time to get them fitted..".
True Story!
Words by Niall

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cannonball Route Details

Cannonball  will be kicking off this Friday 12th September from Dublin and will bring 160 Super Cars on a weekend tour of Ireland raising funds for Make a Wish IrelandIt is free for spectators and there are some fantastic festivals planned around the country to tie in with Cannonball. Spectators can get up close, take pictures and chat to the drivers and owners of some of the rarest and most spectacular cars to be seen in Ireland. Some of the towns are running weekend long Cannonball festivals with free music and entertainment for visitors and SoapBox races!! (we like these!) 

Some of the awesome cars that we are excited to see on this years on Cannonball are the New Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari California, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 458's & 430, Dodge Viper SRT10, the much anticipated BMW i8 not to mention BMW M5's M3's and many many more. 

If you would like to catch up with the Cannonball to see any of these cars here are some of the best places to do it are listed below. 

Friday Startline - The Point Village Dublin (O2/3 Arena) from approx 9am to 11:30  
Coffee Break -  Astoria car park,  Bundoran, Co Donegal arrive approx 4.45pm & dep 5.45pm
Friday Finish Line - Connell St, Sligo -  arrive approx  6.30pm & dep

Saturday Startline - Connaughton St car park dep 10.45am 
Lunch Break -  Lunch: Crockets on the Quay, Ballina - arrive approx 12.45pm & dep 3.15pm
Saturday Finish Line - Finish Line: Seapoint Promenade, Salthill, Galway

On Sunday morning the Cannonballers will leave Galway at 10.30am and go to Cahir, Co.Tipperary for a lunch at the Cahir Gravity Festival. From there the cars will close the Cannonball Festival in Tullamore, County Offaly at 6pm for the finish line where the roars of the engines will compete with a cheering crowd of over 10,000 people. We will add exact details of Sunday's route as we get it. 

Words by Amy

Friday, 5 September 2014

Cannonball 2014

Cannonball is the largest organised road trip in Europe and the most exciting motoring and social event of the year. The trip typically features 160 cars including the world's top makes: McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Masseratti, Rolls Royce and Bentley. Over 100,000 people will line the streets as Cannonball blazes a trail through towns and counties in spectacular style. With festivals and gatherings all along the route. Cannonball Ireland has raised over 580,000 euro for Irish Children Charities. This year Cannonball Run is in aid of Make-A-Wish Ireland.

Just some of the Super Cars appearing on Cannonball 6 are the New Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari California and the much anticipated BMW i8 

The Route:
This year Cannonball 2014 consists of 3 action packed days taking in some of Ireland’s most scenic routes. On day one, the cars will leave Dublin at 10am and arrive in Slieve Russell Hotel in County Cavan for a lunch stop at 12.30pm. The next pitstop is in Bundoran (Astoria Car park) for a cup of coffee, in the middle of the beautiful scenery Donegal has to offer us. The gleaming convoy of supercars will then proceed to Sligo town centre arriving at 6pm.

Day 2 on Saturday September 13th, Cannonball leaves SLIGO at 10.30am to take in a stunning drive through Sligo and Mayo counties. Arriving in Ballina on the quays for 1pm for a bite and to take in the breath-taking views. Finally we arrive in Galway (Sathill), the social hotspot of West Ireland for a night out! 

On Sunday morning the Cannonballers will leave Galway at 10.30am and go to Cahir, Co.Tipperary for a lunch. From there the cars will close the Cannonball Festival in Tullamore, County Offaly at 6pm for the finish line where the roars of the engines will compete with a cheering crowd of over 10,000 people.

It's great fun for a good cause. It's four-wheeled masterpieces and their roaring melody. The most prestigious and unique cars of the world roll through breath-taking landscapes and the charming cities and towns of Ireland, making this the most memorable motorised masquerade you have ever seen. Find out more about Cannonball on the

Posted by Amy

Thursday, 4 September 2014 Soapbox Race 2014

In Aid of The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation

Event Format & General Info

Date: Sunday 2nd November 2014
Time: 11.00 – 4.00pm (competitors need to arrive by 9am)
Location: Shanks Mare Pub, DerryPatrick Co. Meath. (35 mins from Dublin City)
Map: Google Map
GPS Co-ords: 53.4955871,-6.6849522
Corporate entry:
Privateers entry: 

What is it?
A Soapbox is a gravity powered homemade ‘cart’ which must navigate a predefined downhill course, against the clock. The MicksGarage Soapbox Race will have up to 50 soapboxes all competing for the fastest time of the day. Time permitting we will also run a knockout challenge where carts will compete in head to head battles!

This is a charity event in aid of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. Our aim is for everyone involved to have a fun-filled day and raise as much money as possible for this great charity. If successful we hope to make the Soapbox Race an annual event.

There will be 3 competitive elements to the MicksGarage Soapbox Race with prizes for each:

1. Individual timed runs against the clock (prizes for 1st.2nd & 3rd)
2. Knockout challenge (prizes for 1st.2nd & 3rd)
3. Design & creativity (prizes for 1st.2nd & 3rd)

Scrutiny is from 9 – 10.30am on race day. Drivers are to present their soapbox racers in the scrutineers tent in the paddock.
  • Carts will then be weighed and checked by scrutineers and a sticker issued to carts that pass 
  • After scrutiny, Carts should return to the paddock 
Drivers Breifing:
Drivers briefing will commence at 11.00am outside the scrutineers tent. All drivers and team members must attend.

Race - Timed Runs:
  • Carts will be pushed, when called to the staging area behind the start line.
  • When called upon by the paddock Marshalls, the soapboxes must be positioned behind the start line to prepare for the race. 
  • Team members must “push off” the carts from the starting area. No team member may cross the start line (other than the driver obviously) 
  • The start line Marshalls instructions will take precedence and all instructions must be adhered to. 
  • Practice run. The first run is a practice run. Carts must complete a run from start to finish. No time will be formally recorded for this. 
  • Upon completing the practice run, carts will wait in the holding area to be towed back to the paddock (important to have towing eye accessible)
  • Carts will be returned to the paddock by Quad and will be inspected by the paddock marshal to ensure they are safe to continue.
  • ·Each cart will be allowed 1 practice run and 2 timed runs 

Race - Knockout Challenge:
  • When all the timed runs are completed the Knockout challenge will begin
  • Competitors will be chosen based on their fastest timed run and pitted against each other in a race to the finish line. The loser will be knocked out.
  • The 1st fastest cart will compete against the slowest cart eg 1st vs 40th 2nd vs 39th and so on
Design & Creativity:
There will be prizes for the best designed carts / teams / team spirit etc

General :
You must obey the directions of the stewards at all times. The Race Director has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of the race and his decision in all matters is final.

All Drivers Must:
  • Wear a helmet 
  • Not be under the influence of alcohol 
  • Sign a waiver 
  • Be punctual to ensure the smooth running of the race 
  • Must at all times control their vehicle in a manner to try and ensure their own safety as well as that of all spectators. 
  • Anything on display or issued over social media is presumed to have been read and understood. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sheane Shines through the rain at Kirkistown

Round 9 of the 2014 Formula Sheane Championship traveled back across the border to the ultra-fast Kirkistown Race Circuit for the final time this year. Going into this weekend the series was locked into a 5-way battle for the lead of the championship with the leader, Brian Hearty, missing this one and counting it as a dropped score. This was the perfect opportunity for Sheane, Hogg, Allen and Parks to close the gap down to the Master and make the final weekends racing of the year in September, one to remember. The drivers arrived to testing on Friday morning to a very windy track. A strong head wind down the back straight slowed them down but then again pushed them through the 140MPH Debtors corner at the end of the start finish straight. Suffice to say it made for very changeable times and very exciting to watch. Sheane, Allen and Hogg led the way in the tricky conditions by all setting 1.01.2’second laps. Enda O’Conner’s woes continued with engine trouble early on in testing resulting in him missing out on the rest of the day. Robbie Allen’s machine succumbed to clutch issue’s also later on in the day. With testing over, the teams all set about preparing their cars for the next day followed by a few swift ones in the bar afterwards for a de-brief,

Saturday morning started off dry with a few sporadic showers here and there. It managed to dry up and stay dry for qualifying and straight from the off the battle between the top four (less Hearty of course) in the championship commenced. Robbie Allen set the pace very early on followed by Parks the very next lap to take the pole with Sheane in 3rd and O’Connor, after getting his troubles sorted, in 4th and Hogg rounding out the top five. Multi Motorbike Champion Paul McLoughlin and Sean Hynes battled it out for 6th and 7th respectively with Richard Kearney in the Ex-Sean Doyle race winning Sheane taking 8th. Brendan Carr snipped 9th from Shane Mcloughlin to lock out the top 10. Sheane, true to form, snatched the pole away from Parks in the very last lap of the session as he had done at the last round in Modello Park from Brian Hearty. Robbie Allen’s clutch gremlins sneaked back towards to the end of the battle for pole but would prove terminal this time and would mean he would not make the grid for the race, robbing us of a tremendous battle and ending any championship hopes he had for the year.

Round 9
To quote David Parks, “There’s rain in the air”, and boy was he right. All the cars and crews were waiting patiently in the assembly area with no less than a minute to go before the cars took their grid positions and the heavens opened. A few crews scrambled to change as much as they could to a wet Set-up on the cars before they left assembly with others taking the chance on the dry set up. Out they went for a very wet and slippery green flag lap to try get a feel of where the grip was before the next lap when they would hitting those corners with serious speed and aggression. The rooster tails coming off the back of the cars would put an F1 car to shame in the wet; this meant visibility was going to be a concern to those in the middle of the pack. The revs grew (albeit not as high as normal to reduce as much wheel spin as possible) and lights went out. Off the line David Parks got it all hooked up and got the jump on Sheane but held the lead for only a few hundred metre’s before his clutch let go and put him out robbing him also of a championship chance. Hogg made a blistering start to form up behind Sheane as they avoided Parks coming into the braking area of turn 1, but snatched all four wheels into a very slow spin in the wet conditions, arriving at the first corner backwards. 

Paul McLoughlin was the big winner in all the mayhem managing to put his car in all the right places to take second place and try hunt down Sheane who by now had pulled an impressive gap even by turn 3. Sean Hynes had avoided all the mayhem to slot into 3rd from the back of the grid by the end of the first lap. A charging Enda O’Connor was starting to get the head down and reel the 2nd and 3rd place men in. Hynes took 2nd away from Paul McLoughlin only briefly before O’Connor dispatched McLoughlin and ultimately Hynes too for the 2nd position. With his head down and the sniff of a podium in his nostrils O’Connor set off up the road in pursuit of Sheane. Paul McLoughlin snatched 3rd away from Hynes to show his excellent form in the wet. A recovering Hogg had settled into 5th position but just couldn’t seem to make any ground on the men in front. The “Become a Racing Driver” winner Shane McLoughlin revelled in the conditions and brought his car into 6th position, not bad for his first time driving at this track and in the horrendous conditions. O’Connor’s hunt of Sheane was to be in vain as the Championship holder was way out in front to take the much needed win for his title defence. And that’s how it all ended up, Sheane in 1st, O’Connor visited the Podium for the first time this year and the newbie Paul McLoughlin took his very first podium in the class in his first year; a very impressive drive I might add.
The 5-way battle at the top of Championship table has now been reduced to a 3-way one between the Formula Sheane Ace’s Brian Hearty, Kevin Sheane and Keith Hogg. Hogg has the outside chance, the wildcard of the trio. Sheane is just 6 points behind Hearty and will need to win the final two races of the season at Mondello Park if he is to retain his title. That’s not going to be an easy feat considering there are still another 6 or 7 drivers that have all shown race winning pace over the season and will be gunning to take a win before the year is out. Onwards to the final race of the year at the Leinster Trophy Weekend, where, for the last two years running the Formula Sheane race has been the star of the show and there is no doubt that it will be again for the 3rd consecutive year. This is a battle you are not going to want to miss….Roll on Rounds 10 & 11 of Irelands Premier Racing Series the Formula Sheane Championship on the 20th and 21st of September in Mondello Park.

Image credits:

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Flintoff Narrowly Escapes Driving Ban

Likable, Cheeky Northern celeb and ex England Cricketer Freddy Flintoff  appears to have escaped a 6 month driving ban, basically for being famous. UK Police reportedly caught Flintoff doing 87 miles per hour, 17 mph over the limit, in his Bentley Continental GT.  Flintoff has already been busted for speeding three times in the past three years and has nine points on his license. This latest offense would have raised that to 12 points, which in England means an automatic six-month suspension of driving privileges.

He won't have to worry about that, though, because his lawyer Michael Neofytou successfully argued that Flintoff would endure "exceptional hardship" if he weren't allowed to drive. See, Flintoff runs a charity with his wife, is active in philanthropic work outside of that, puts in television appearances and drives his three kids to "school and various activities." Among other scheduled events, Flintoff's representation claimed he would have to miss the recording of a television show that involved the athlete driving a fish and chips food truck on a road trip powered by the vehicle's own cooking fat.

Noting his work and the need for the children's privacy, chair of the bench David Johnson said, "Because of your position, the fact that you are well known, clearly the impact has to be on others, more than you yourself," and fined Flintoff a total of £445 - a sum the millionaire should have no problem paying.

It's not the first time Flintoff has escaped the long arm of the law. In 2005, he got caught doing the same speed in a temporary 50 mph zone, but got away without a fine when an attorney known as "Mr. Loophole" argued that the notice was sent to Flintoff two days later than permitted by law.