PICTURES: Welton Fete and Soap Box Derby

Daredevil amateur drivers in Welton Soap Box Derby reached speeds of nearly 30 miles per hour as they raced downhill in torrential rain.

They competed against the clock in a spectacular array of home-made go-karts along a 500 metre course through the village, which featured a steep section, sharp turns and a chicane.

Welton soap box derby and village fete.'Where Seagulls Dare driven by Barry Hickman NNL-150621-111623009

Welton soap box derby and village fete.'Where Seagulls Dare driven by Barry Hickman NNL-150621-111623009

Organiser Chris Barlow said: “We had 39 entrants on the day which is 10 more than last year’s inaugural event.

“Each driver had a push start but after that they were propelled by nothing but sheer courage and the force of gravity.”

Drivers competed in three age categories: eight to 11, 12 to 15, and 16 and over, with medals awarded on the day for the best time in each category, the top speed overall, and one for creativity.

Ben Cohen, former England and Northampton Saints rugby star, officially started the event by push-starting the first competitor.

Welton soap box derby and village fete. NNL-150621-110645009

Welton soap box derby and village fete. NNL-150621-110645009

Mr Barlow added: “It’s a wonderful community event and there must have been as many as 3,000 people in the village on the day to watch it.

“The Soap Box Derby has put Welton well and truly on the map and it will definitely be back in 2016.”

The derby forms part of the village summer fete and proceeds from both events, initially estimated to be several thousand pounds, will be split between St Martin’s Church and Welton CE Academy Parent Teacher Association.