Bromham engineer Steve Thomas has smashed his own record for hurtling downhill in a home-made soapbox.

His creation, C12 – also known as The Beast – clocked 70mph on certain stretches of the Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme course near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands earlier this month.

He was equally as successful in Shropshire last Sunday, winning the Soapbox Derby at Richard’s Castle.

The new 70mph record exceeds by six miles an hour the 64mph he set last year.

But it counts for nothing as the Guinness Book of Records does not yet have a category for gravity-powered speed attempts.

Mr Thomas, 52, from New Road, Bromham, said: “The chap who held the record before me approached me on Sunday and said we ought to do something to have it recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, but I don’t quite know how you go about it.

“There was no real danger in reaching that speed. The better the car is, the safer and faster it is too.”

Mr Thomas built C12, named after his engineering design business C12 Composites for his son Patrick, then eight but who has now just completed A-levels at John Bentley School.

His first race was a soap box derby in Chippenham a few years ago. He is now well known on the soapbox circuit and is looking forward to the next race in North Yorkshire, on August 21.

But he feels frustrated that he has to go such long distances to take part.

He said: “It would be nice if we have events like that around here. If anyone has any ideas, I would like to hear about them.”