KARTS AND ROBBERS! Soapbox team's mobster-style mean machine nicked after race.
Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
IT'S the Birmingham made mobster-style machine that simply vanished after Sunday's Red Bull Soapbox Race - as if it had wings.
And the mangled, missing kart was eventually found by a crew member in full KEYSTONE KOPS outfit.
The Coleshill team who crafted "Kart Capone" - one of 69 wacky racers at Alexandra Palace - called in the police after discovering that their mean machine had been nicked from the finishing line enclosure.
But a series of tweets put the four-strong crew - brothers Rob and John Sweeney, Adam Turrall and JJ Jones - on the trail of the culprits.
JJ, 24, retrieved the what was left of the kart, the body of which had been crumpled in a hay bale collision, from outside a nearby pub. Rob laughed: "It was just hilarious watching JJ, dressed as a New York cop, running down the street.
"Not surprisingly, those responsible had scarpered.
"The police asked us if we wanted to press charges, but we said no. I think they just did it for a laugh."
The lads will find out within days how their kart, which took three days to build, fared in the big race.
But 27-year-old Rob is confident it will be in the top 20.
At one stage, the souped-up soap box, with John behind the wheel, touched 30 mph as it careered down the 500 metre track.
The results are based on time and presentation.
Kart Capone's crew certainly looked the part, all except JJ wearing zoot suits and Trilby hats.
And they had an impressive storyline.
"It was based on the prohibition era and we said Red Bull has been outlawed in the City of London," explained Rob.
They even converted a garage at the Sweeney's home into a mock moonshine distillery.
But disaster struck when the kart crossed the finishing line and ploughed into the bale.
"We all went flying," said Rob. "We've got a few bruises and lumps, but we're OK.
"The kart isn't. The bodywork was smashed, but the chassis and steering was fine. That shows how well it was built.
"The whole experience was mint, awesome. We had a great time and the performance was good."
Be warned, the kart is set to go a lot faster. Once repaired, its makers plan to put an engine inside. Red Bull Soapbox Race is an international event in which amateur drivers race home-made soapbox vehicles.
Each machine is fuelled by nothing but sheer courage, the force of gravity...and perhaps a little Red Bull.
Free Home Selection and Assessment Service for those who are unable to visit the showroom parking arrangements Phone Scott or Chris 0121 693 9238 Open: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Family Run Business since 1985 19 York Road Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA www.COMFORTANDRECLINE.com 39238 o 0121 693 hone Scott or Chris 0121 6Above, our story in June and, right, |Team Kart Kapone during the race