AN amazing day was had by the 10,000 people who crammed into Ringwood to see the spectacular 27th British Pedal Car Grand Prix.
And the traders, publicans and stallholders had the best day of the year yet, thanks to the popularity of the crazy carts and their kamikaze drivers.
Treasurer Cliff Polton said: “You could just about move, but it was packed again – the traders were very grateful.
“The manager of Finn’s was really pleased to see us as I think they did very well.
“Ringwood needs it – so often people shop in shopping centres and ignore the towns.
“What we’re producing is family entertainment and while we’re doing that we raise money for a cancer charity and for the town council to hand out to its charities.
“Our main sponsor was again Ringwood Brewery and they’ve really done us proud.”
There was controversy over the winning car after one car had a transponder problem. But the official winner was New Milton Health and Leisure, with Patterson’s Bangers, backed by a Ringwood butcher’s, second, in a vehicle made by Martin Cherrett, who has been entering cars in the competition for more than 20 years.
Mr Polton said: “The winning car was a fairly upright pedal car, but it was the strength of the riders that won it – they were incredible, very healthy looking people.”
Cobra Racing – Phillip Walsh from Ringwood running one of Mr Polton’s cars – came third. All three managed 65 laps apiece.
Squeals on Wheels from New Milton were fifth overall and the first ladies. Second were Birds on the Wing from Ringwood and third was The Dog’s B’s from New Milton.
Some 35 teams racing in teams of five hammered round the 1km track for two hours, with more than the event’s usual share of scrapes.
Mr Polton, who runs Royce UK and has given up prestige motors for this wild day out every other year since 1993 (he’s known as Mr Pedal Car), said: “It was a very entertaining year for breakages. But somehow we kept it going till the end, using a lot of duct tape and cable ties – it was great fun.
“Reuters were there filming it and three other crews from other places.”
Michael Lingham Wilgoss was commentator, having been involved with the event since its launch in 1987, when French twinners brought the event to Ringwood.