LIMA â?? The challenge of Derby Hill comes to life Saturday when 41 racers give it their best at the annual Soap Box Derby.
â??Itâ??s the thrill of the hill,â?ť said Steve Skinner, director of this yearâ??s derby, now in its 63rd year in Lima.
Although Skinner never ran the course as a child, he said the wonder of the annual event is something he gets with his three racing children.
â??Itâ??s that bonding time with the parents while youâ??re building the car together. At least, thatâ??s what I get out of it,â?ť Skinner said.
And that prize is something that more people are catching on to as numbers creep up for entrants into the annual event.
â??This year we have 41 racers, which is up from the last couple of years. I think we have a lot of derby families whose kids are involved and enjoy it, and word of mouth gets out,â?ť Skinner said.
This year, the Masterâ??s Division is coming back to Lima after a five-year hiatus. The other divisions, stock and super-stock, remain the same. The divisions are based on experience of building the car and racing, with first-time racers beginning in the stock division.
â??The Master division is a lay-down type car. Racers in the other divisions sit up in their car, but in the Masterâ??s Division, they lay back,â?ť Skinner explained.
The gravity-powered race is a 30-second roll down the hill, with cars reaching speeds of 30 to 35 mph on the 1,000-foot straight track. As always, the racers compete in a double-elimination format, switching lanes and wheels to ensure fairness.
The winner in all three divisions of the Lima race goes on to compete in the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, beginning July 21.
â??Thatâ??s a lot of fun, but this entire process is fun. We always tell the kids it doesnâ??t matter if you win, just go out there and have fun,â?ť Skinner added.
Soap Box Derby