All-American Soap Box Derby Coming to Long Beach

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The granddaddy of all inertia motor-sports – The All-American Soap Box Derby – makes its formal Long Beach racing debut, August 23/24 alongside the Queen Mary. A special track will be installed adjacent to the ship and is designed to propel young racers. The gravity-fueled cars will run in several classes, including a novice class reserved for first-time competitors.

“Walk the pits of any major racing event and you’re likely to meet a former Soap Box Derby racer. The same can be said of the automakers and automotive specialty parts industry – where many innovators and executives first sat behind the wheel of a soap box car,” said Queen Mary GM, John Jenkins. “With Long Beach hosting the Grand Prix each year, we thought it was time to create a family-oriented racing event; what better than soap box racing?”

The August 23/24 racing meet will attract already proven Soap Box competitors, first time builder-racers and youngsters from area clubs and associations. All entrants are welcome and there is no cost for first time racers to compete.

“Our goal is to test the concept of hosting a major Soap Box race at the Queen Mary. The August race will tell us something about how to create a race event that might be scheduled to coincide with the annual Long Beach Grand Prix weekend,” Jenkins added.

The Soap Box Derby came to public attention as the Great Depression ravaged the country. Many competitors were newspaper boys and sponsored by their local paper. Some qualified to race at Akron where the Derby World Championships are still held each year.

The Queen’s Cup event will see points awarded to those racers already on the Derby trail and hoping to make the trip to Akron for the big race. Just as important will be the opportunity for other first-time drivers to experience what it’s like to compete in a racing car. Each driver will attend a pre-race clinic, be provided with a helmet and introduced to their machine as it sits atop an elevated platform. When the two-car raceway is set the starter will release the both cars – gravity does the rest and will launch the competitors towards the checkered flag.

“In the early days of the LBGP the Queen Mary hosted many social events, accommodated the famous racing drivers of the time, and was central to visitors’ overall Long Beach experience. The Queen’s Cup Derby will return some of that motor-sports magic to the ship – although quieter and serving a younger audience – we expect great racing and great fun for all those entering and watching as soap box derby racing comes to Long Beach,” Jenkins concluded.

For more information and schedule of events, visit http://www.Queenmary.com/derby or call (877) 342-0738.

The AASBD is a youth gravity racing program for boys and girls ages 8 through 17 years old which has run nationally since 1934. The goals of the program have not changed since it began – to teach youngsters the basic skills of workmanship, perseverance and the spirit of competition. World Championship finals are held in July of every year for both Rally and Local champions at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. ?

Complete Derby information can be found on the All-American Soap Box Derby website at www.aasbd.com.

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