Thrills and spills at Barnstaple ‘grand prix’

Crowds attend first ever town centre race event

BARNSTAPLE became a race track for the day when lawn mowers and pedal cars took to the streets for the town’s first ever “grand prix” yesterday (Sunday).

Large crowds lined the Strand to take in an afternoon of racing action organised by Petroc and BID Barnstaple, with support from Babcock Marine, in aid of the Children’s Hospice South West.

While the roar of the converted ride-on petrol mowers provided plenty of high speed thrills – and the occasional spill – the pedal cars kept the race tempo ticking on a spectacular day for the town centre.

Huw Davies, Petroc’s director of curriculum and innovation, said: “The day was fantastic – the music, the racing, the sunshine and the crowds.

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“The teams put in so much effort, preparation and commitment to their vehicles which was so evident to see in their enthusiasm on the day.

“The support from all the teams, marshalls, and more importantly the spectators, was brilliant and created the most exciting atmosphere.”

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Mayor of Barnstaple Ian Roome took charge of the chequered flag and presented the winning teams with their trophies.

Winners of the senior pedal car race were BAR Racing. Children’s Hospice South West’s Dick Dastardly Do Gooders claimed the runner up spot as well as the award for engineering.

The junior race – and the award for creativity – was won by Piggy’s Peddlers from the Forches Youth Group. Chulmleigh Scouts came in second.

In the lawn mower category, the “Le Mows Trophy” went to the Triple Ks, Dave, Stan and Lewis Karniewicz. The Major Mowers from Bratton Fleming, Parracombe and Combe Martin came second and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Button”, from Bratton Fleming, took third. A team from Perrin Landscapes came fourth.

Sue Rawle, BID Barnstaple co-ordinator said the grand prix was “a totally new event for Barnstaple”.

She said: “It was a great day out and BID Barnstaple were pleased to have played a part in working alongside Petroc to make it happen.

Lawn mower race organiser Dave Butt said he was looking forward to next year’s event.

“It was great to race in front of such a large and appreciative audience, which helped make it fiercely competitive, exciting and at times spectacular.

“The course was difficult and challenging, but great fun. We have fingers crossed we won’t be getting speeding tickets for our speeds along the Strand – or going through the red light at the pedestrian crossing.”


To view more pictures of the event, click on the gallery links on the top right of this page. To order photos click on the myphotos24 link on the left.

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