The top three cars take to the air – wheel-to-wheel – in the final round of the Penarth Carnival Day Downhill Derby. “Cardiff Gas” hits the road running as “SMS Window Cleaning” – a split second behind – leaps the ramp, whilst Hampton’s “Sandy Shore” brings up the rear.
For the first time ever, three cars raced each other wheel-to wheel down Cliff Hill, jumped a back-breaking ramp and negotiated a tyre-wall chicane, in the climax of the Penarth Carnival’s popular Downhill Derby.
The competitors were all vying for Penarth Downhill Derby Trophies
The vintage races again proved to be the most popular event of Carnival Day as hundreds of spectators lined the route or watched from the balcony of Penarth Yacht Club.
The glittering prize for the various class winners was the “PDD” (Penarth Downhill Derby) trophy – a coveted assembly of genuine and original inscribed Penarth foreshore pebbles glued together on a plinth.
The event had begun in the “pits” area of the “paddock” at the top of Cliff Hill where the drivers and their gravity racers went though final preparations.
TV news crews vied to inverview the drivers in the “pits” of the Downhill Derby and view the contenders imaginative vehicles
Peter Knowles of the “Hamptons” and “Shore” stores in Penarth, is interviewed on tv before his epic drive in the Hamptons entry “Sandie Shore” . The handkerchief helmet – complete with attacking seagull – added an authentic touch, but didn’t exactly help the aerodynamics
Peter Knowles and partner Andy Bradshaw with their first-time entry “Sandy Shore” – a mobile sandcastle, excruciatingly named after the 1967 Eurovision song-contest winner Sandie Shaw.
Other entries included a winged Welsh dragon – which would lose its tail on the track, and “Sugar Rush” – a pointy-ended chocolate tart
A dark horse in the Downhill Derby was the entry of this unique tricycle gravity racer designed by young local RAF Air Cadets
In the Under-16s it was the young team of RAF Air Cadets who logged the fastest downhill descent
Driver Peter Knowles gasps as “Sandy Shore” thumps back onto the road and heads for the tyre-wall chicane
Welsh pride takes a pasting as the plywood tail of the Welsh Dragon car “Claws” flies off the mid air as the gravity racer hits the tarmac after jumping the ramp
Most cars couldn’t come close to the incredible times clocked by SMS Window Cleaning‘s Nathan Cooper who shared driving duties with brother Matthew. This run in the over 16’s class took only 29.99 seconds.
“MacMillan Cancer Support” hit the wall a couple of times on the descent and was in need of some support itself to get over the line – which it did to tremendous applause from the crowd
“Cardiff Gas” was only completed the night before the race – (there wasn’t even time to paint it) – but it was the hands of two highly-experienced and wily veterans Peter and Cliff
The three-car “King of the Hill” final was a wheel-to-wheel shoot-out between “Cardiff Gas“, “SMS Window Cleaning” and “Sandy Shore”
There were coveted Penarth Downhill Derby trophies – made from genuine and original engraved Penarth pebbles – for all the class winners
…regardless of expense there was a ‘gold’ crown for the 2016 “King of the Hill” champions …
…and obligatory champagne for all the winners .