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Thousands turn out for Soapbox Race

Elvis Presley's blue suede shoe, an oversized royal baby carriage, an asparagus and a loaf of bread were some of the unusual designs for vehicles taking part in the Red Bull Soapbox Race.

Seventy soapboxes powered only by the force of gravity took on the tricky course in front of 20,000 spectators at Alexandra Palace in north east London.

Some of the competitors crashed into straw barriers after losing control on the ramps, while others demonstrated impressive skill to make it to the finish line smoothly.

One driver wearing a Boris Johnson mask received a roar of approval from the crowd as he ripped off his trousers to reveal a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts before setting off on the 420-metre course in a London Tube-inspired soapbox.

Teams were scored on speed, creativity and showmanship, with Red Bull's Formula One team boss Christian Horner among the judges on a sweltering day in the capital.

The event was won by Newcastle-based Team Spit-Phya, who clinched victory in a soapbox inspired by Great British land speed record attempts.

Team captain Mark Wells said: "The team has worked incredibly hard and we're all amazed, genuinely I'm just elated.

"We were inspired by the old Great British land speed record racers Donald Campbell and John Cobb, and we just wanted to celebrate that. I am amazingly proud of this team."

Horner, who also drove a replica F1 soapbox down the track, said: "It's been an absolutely fantastic day - the effort from all the participants, the enthusiasm of all the 20,000 people here, a stunning day weather wise - it's been a perfect afternoon.

"It was an event that only Red Bull could put on."

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