Aachen Soapbox Race

  Two men Copyright: © Andreas Bong

You wouldn’t really expect someone like Jannes Blesenkemper to be very familiar with soapbox racing. After all, he comes from Gescher, a town in the Münsterland plains near the Dutch border – not exactly the ideal spot for gravity racers… Nevertheless, when he arrived in Aachen for his studies some time ago, the FH Aachen graduate (electrical engineering) immediately had the idea of organizing a soapbox race. Together with Andreas Bong, an electrical engineering student at RWTH Aachen University, and a few other students, the dream was supposed to come true in 2020, but Covid stalled the project. Finally, on May 21, the first amateur soapbox race is set to start – on Aachen’s Lousberg, of course. “It offers the perfect conditions,” explains Jannes. “The curves are a bit tight, but overall it’s a moderately difficult track that’s also suitable for beginners - and the scenery is awesome.”

Spurred on by the motto “Build, Race, Win,” hobbyists and racing enthusiasts are now encouraged to register to participate with their soapboxes – home-built and as creative in design as possible. “It’s not just speed that counts in the competition; there’s also a prize for the most beautiful soapbox,” Andreas emphasizes. “The main thing is that everyone has fun!” The team has already secured food and beverage trucks as well as music to round off the event. Their event plans are also supported by the University Chaplaincy, where Jannes and Andreas regularly help out with homework for disadvantaged children at the RoKoKo daycare center. To return the favor, “all the money left over at the end of the day will go to this project,” says Jannes.

So, if you enjoy soapboxes and want to start in the race with a box yourself, go ahead and get in touch with the team.