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Breaking records at downhill soapbox races

Updated: Mar 9, 2019

With 26 soapbox derby racers competing for bragging rights Sept. 6 during the Ponoka Downhill Derby, competition was fierce enough to generate a new speed record.

Logan Heidt’s thirst for speed earned him the first place win for Division A and a top speed of 42 km/h down the 42 Avenue hill where the race was held. Race fans had their eyes on Heidt most of the day when he ran a 40 km/h run early on.

This was the 10th anniversary of the derby and organizer Karen Williams was pleased to see new kids on the roster.

“We got about seven first time racers this year,” said Williams.

“It’s just so fun watching them go down the hill,” she added.

The event is organized by the Ponoka Lions and the Ponoka Kinsmen with help from the Town of Ponoka. They host the day of racing with additional countless hours from the many volunteers who help put it together.

Alanna Reed was a first time racer as she inherited her older brother’s soapbox. He grew out of his racer and a new one was built for his size. She was excited for the chance to race. “I wanted to because it’s fun,” she said.

She practised with her mother at the Ponoka Stampede grounds to get a better feel for how her soapbox handles.

Hayden Galbraith is a veteran at the downhill derby. This is his third year racing and his favourite part is when the cars are on the ramp just as the bar is dropped.

Building a car also gives an opportunity for kids to work with their parents; dad Bruce Harbin said he and his son, Levi, built their new car in about one day and the real joy was spending father/son time together. The race was Levi’s fourth.

“He has a great time…he’s always got new ideas for his car,” said Harbin.


Division A winners:

First – Logan Heidt. New speed record of 42 km/h.

Second – Serge Klimec

Division B winners:

First – Brayden Jackson

Second – Jack Jones

Division C winners:

First – Carson Groot

Second – John Jones

Best in Show:

Division A – Serge Klimec

Division B – Bailey Donison

Division C – Jonathon Beach

Story by the Ponoka News

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