The race itself runs on the Sunday and is a two hour endurance race around the closed off streets of Ringwood town centre. The pedal cars assemble in the Furlong Centre from 10.00am, and are displayed there for the morning, prior to the parade laps from 1.30, 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. Each car has a team of up to four pedallers who can change over as many times as they like, which makes pit lane viewing very interesting for the spectators!
The event also raises sponsorship money that is then donated to various charities nominated by Ringwood Festival Committee. The emphasis being to ensure that two or three local charities are beneficiaries of the money raised, and usually a cross section of charities are chosen so that the money benefits both the young and not so young alike.
As well as local competitors, the race also attracts entrants from across the country. In 2004 teams travelled from Bristol, Rugby and Chippenham to take part. Some are members of the British Federation of Pedal Car Racing, and hope to come and give our local teams something to think about!
The British Pedal Car Grand Prix first took place in Ringwood in 1987, and has steadily grown in popularity since. The race now attracts thousands of spectators, and has even been filmed by both BBC Television and Satellite TV. The British Pedal Car Grand Prix is held biennially as the finale to Ringwood Festival Week, and there are pedal car activities on both the Saturday and Sunday. 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.