Soapbox racers from the 2018 Prix de Tacot. Photo by Clarissa Seidel courtesy of die naTO.

The famed Prix de Tacot soapbox race returns

Leipzig’s Fockeberg is a curiously high point in an otherwise pretty flat landscape. It was, rather soberingly, originally formed from the city’s rubble of World War II, with further material added in the 1950s as Leipzig’s stadium took shape. This explains the mount’s impressive 153-metres above sea level and expansive 360-degree views over Leipzig.

Considerable time has, of course, elapsed since the rubbish mountain in Leipzig’s Südvorstadt was initially formed. This has allowed it to become a green gem covered with wonderfully wild bushes, trees and grasses. This in turn makes standing on tiptoes helpful when peeking at the view from the top!

Not surprisingly, the Fockeberg is a rather desirable destination whether you’re after a spot of sunbathing, taking in the view or perhaps even participating in the upcoming “Prix de Tacot” soapbox race.

What goes up must come down

Talking of which, this year the 29th race for “old bangers” or “Tacot” will take place on 3 September from 10 am on the Fockeberg itself. Back after a three-year break, the spectacular race is organised by Leipzig’s cultural centre, naTo. Free of charge for onlookers, the event is a celebration of creativity, gravity, wheels, design, ingenuity, courage and fun! (There is a €25 entry fee for race participants.) 

On the day, three race categories will test the soap box creations for accurate and controlled driving; stability on a specially prepared gravel track; and weight and aerodynamics when rolling along the Fockestraβe. All of the above promises to be quite a sight to be seen.

Of course, there are rules and regulations to be adhered to. Only homemade motorless sports vehicles that meet certain structural and safety regulations may take part. This means having functioning steering and brakes, being able to maneuver the vehicle with sheer muscle power, and not hindering or endangering anyone. Otherwise, it’s game on!


What: Prix de Tacot soap box race brought to you by naTo cultural centre

Where: Fockeberg, 39 Fockestraβe, Südvorstadt, Leipzig

When: Sunday, 3 September 2023, from 10 am onwards. From 11 am to 6 pm there will be a market at the foot of the Fockeberg selling food and drinks and offering creative activities for children.

Additional: Registration is possible up until race day provided there is enough space. More information can be found here.

Kim Rupp-Gregory, originally from New Zealand, is LeipGlo's news reporter. Kim lived in Leipzig from 2007 to 2013, and during that time passionately created and co-edited Leipzig Zeitgeist, a magazine about Leipzig’s people, places and happenings. She returned to Leipzig in early 2023.

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