A Fiercely Competitive Tour de New Milton.
On an absurdly hot Sunday afternoon in New Milton my rather naive illusions of what a pedal car race were like were torn down and trampled under hot feet.
What I witnessed today was a display of raw determination, bravery and downright doggedness that would rival the competitive spirit of any of the Formula One Grand Prix drivers and teams. The latter thoughtfully left Sunday 14th July open for the New Milton Pedal Car Grand Prix, scheduled between the German and Hungarian F1 races.
The track itself consisted of three hairpins, two 90° turns, a long pit straight full of supportive teams and a ridiculously long straight running almost the length of New Milton High Street, complete with a hay bale chicane.
The 70 or so carts that took part (each changed drivers regularly in true Le Mans spirit) were pro machines. No flimsy converted prams here – whether the carts were ridden by dads, mums, sons, daughters or workmates, the quality of the build was extremely high. And some were blooming fast.
The drivers raced lap after lap for two solid hours in searing heat. At no point was the winner a foregone conclusion… just when you thought number 13 had it in the bag, his wheel fell off. Then the new leader would be involved in a massive pile up – or be relegated to the Sin Bin for contravention of the rules. Marshals were everywhere, yellow flags in hand, making sure that everyone toed the line.
And as for the commentator… unbelievable. His non-stop, amusing commentary lasted for the entire two hours without more than a couple of seconds’ break – he would have made Murray Walker proud. Perhaps it was Murray? “I haven’t seen so many yellow flags since Yellow Flag Day”… and so on.
Fabulous stuff – I’m definitely having a go at this next year… Visit the New Milton Pedal Car Grand Prix website for more information.