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British Pedal Car Grand Prix at Ringwood

Ringwood Town Council’s “British Pedal Car Grand Prix” celebrates its 21st Anniversary on Sunday 13th July 2008.

Crowds of 10,000 plus will throng Ringwood in Hampshire to experience the dog-eat-dog competitive racing style of the top pedal car racing teams such as the Spirit of Verwood (Gazelle cycling team), Royce Company team, Gone Biking Mad (a local bike shop) and 2006 winners Patterson’s Bangers.

Top engineering, modern technology, team practice and discipline are evident as the teams prepare for the race. Their fingers are firmly crossed as the race day director announces the grid positions (drawn in the style of a completely random lottery). The keen-eared bystander will hear teams hatching their plans for gaining the most places on the first lap so that they are quickly on the heels of their rivals.

Pit stop change-overs are slicker than those of formula one racing.[Oh, yeah? -ed.] The Champagne podium celebrations will take place in the open air top deck of the corporate hospitality suite, where the proud winners will be presented with the winner’s trophy.

Both BBC Television and Satellite TV have filmed these “wacky races” with radio and other media supporting the coverage of this biennial spectacle, which now attracts entrants from the BBC, the Bournemouth Echo and many more.

Teams are made from up to four drivers per car and there are classes for juniors (under 16’s), ladies and seniors. The 1 kilometre circuit is flat out for most of the way with just a few corners of note, with overtaking at three abreast in the fastest sections. The judging of the Concours D’ Elegance is always held on the Saturday so that members of the public can come along and get a sneak preview of the competing cars.

On Race Day, the pedal cars assemble in the Furlong Centre from 10.00am, and are displayed there for the morning, prior to the parade laps from 1.30pm, with the race starting at 2.00pm. Spectators are able to walk around the whole course to watch the race from various different vantage points. The whole emphasis of the event is to have FUN! The pedal cars vary greatly in design with some very light and aerodynamic competitive cars, whilst others are built to amuse the crowds. The teams have their own pits and are allowed to change riders at the pit stops as many times as they like, which makes pit lane viewing very interesting for the spectators!

The chequered flag is waved at the winning car at 4.00pm and the champagne spraying trophy presentations are held on the podium rostrum at 4.15pm.

The event also raises sponsorship money that is then donated to selected charities: Oakhaven Hospice, providing specialist palliative care and support to those facing life-limiting illness and their loved ones in both a home and hospice setting ~ Tenovus Cancer Charity, a charitable organisation committed to the control of cancer through: quality research, prevention/education, counselling and patient care ~ The British Liver Trust & The Ringwood Young Firefighters Association.

More details about pedal car racing can be found at www.britishpedalcargp.co.uk
or by contacting Cliff Polton on 01425 620062.

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