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Hackney Coffin Dodgers rise again in international soapbox car race as Hoodoovoodoo

PUBLISHED: 17:16 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 10 July 2019

Hoodoovoodoo team: David Townsend, Russell Wynn, Chris Tucker and Richard Brockway show off their latest soap box car that's not yet

Hoodoovoodoo team: David Townsend, Russell Wynn, Chris Tucker and Richard Brockway show off their latest soap box car that's not yet "fully dressed" outside the Anchor and Hope pub.

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The Red Bull soapbox racers formerly known as the Coffin Dodgers and Tutenska return to Alexandra Palace on Sunday representing Hackney for the third time in the international competition.

Hoodoovoodoo team after a successful soap box car test run in Springfield park.Hoodoovoodoo team after a successful soap box car test run in Springfield park.

They were at Springfield Park on Tuesday test driving their voodoo-inspired dream machine near the Anchor and Hope pub in Clapton. Team member and driver Russell Wynn has worked at the pub for 30 years.

Hoodoovoodoo, the team's latest incarnation, started life in 2013 as the Coffin Dodgers. They came second that year. Two years later they got "best crash". Russell's previous work as an undertaker has inspired deadly car designs so this time they'll be zombies riding a Haitian grave down the hill.

The "wacky races" are put on by the Red Bull Company and welcome cars of all shapes, sizes and designs - and all budgets.

Russell told the Gazette: "When we came second the machine that beat us cost £30,000 to £40,000. This year there are ones that are CAD [computer-aided design] designed.

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"I think it takes away from the whole thing. When you're a kid you make a trolley out of pram wheels, a bit of string and bit of wood. But you know that's the way it is. That's the way it's going. It's like being in an old mini against a ferrari. We're for the little man."

Their up-cycled car cost £50 to make and took about a month. Richard Brockway, a carpenter, built the machine, "We just made it out of stuff from the workshop," he said. "[Except for] welding rods and cutting discs, it's all just made out of bits lying around."

Soapbox cars run on manpower and gravity alone. At the race there will be jumps, steps and obstacles to steer clear of - and a kicker at the end.

No one has crossed the finish line mid-air yet, but Russell hopes to do just that. He also aims to finish the 500-metre course in 30 seconds (and beat everyone else).

When the "wacky races" are over the team will join local supporters at the Anchor and Hope for an after-party.

Tickets are sold out but you can catch Hoodoovoodoo and more wierd and wonderful soap box teams Sunday on Dave channel at 5pm.

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