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Race to the finish in the Rotary Pedal Car Grand Prix in Torquay

On your marks, get set… for the annual Rotary Pedal Car Grand Prix which takes place each year in Torquay. Watch teams propel their pedal cars to the limit around the circuit in pursuit of the coveted title and trophy.
Grand Prix racing comes to Torquay on the third Sunday in July, but those expecting to see Lewis Hamilton in action, or wanting to hear the throbbing engines of powerful F1 racing cars roaring around the town may be in for a sad disappointment. This much anticipated event is actually for pedal cars.

Where and when the Torquay Pedal Car Grand Prix takes place

The Rotary Pedal Car Grand Prix takes place at Torre Abbey Meadow on King’s Drive in . The one day event starts at 10am and runs until 4:30pm with an action packed programme of events surrounding the main grand prix race.

The fundraising event is organised by the and to date it has raised over £26,000 for local charities. The 2014 event marks the 36th year of the Rotary Pedal Car Grand Prix, so here’s hoping for another sunny day for this longstanding race for charity.

Although the Pedal Car Grand Prix falls well short of the official 300 kms, the distance required to make any racing event an official Grand Prix, the two-hour long endurance race must certainly feel like 300 kms to frantic pedal-pushers.

They put pedal to metal, literally, in the tough fight to win a trophy in this hotly contested event of speed and endurance. Prior training is certainly required for any driver to stay the course in this two-hour endurance race.

Family entertainment during the grand prix event

The event usually attracts around 8,000 spectators making it one of Torbay’s major summer attractions. Supporters and families of the competitors will certainly want to line the track and cheer on their driver to the finish. Other less involved visitors can keep one eye on race track progress while enjoying the other supporting activities.

I always enjoy browsing around the arts and crafts fair which showcases the talents of local crafters. Look out for handpainted pottery, jewellery, artworks of local Devon scenes, wood crafts, knitting, sewing and other handicrafts which are all handmade by local artisans. Demonstrations of other skills such as jewellery making, wool spinning and wood carving are on hand for you to admire and pick up a few tips before possibly purchasing any item.

Live music helps keep the event going with a swing as team riders tough it out to the end. Other attractions include a bouncy castle, bric-a-brac stalls, refreshments, barbecue, a tea tent serving homemade cakes, and a bar for drinks.

Other entertainment I have enjoyed in past years included local group demonstrations such as belly dancing by the Pyramid Belly Dancers, Zumba taster classes, dancing displays by Danceworks Devon, local bands and solos by young singing stars.

Classes and swards in the Rotary Pedal Car Grand Prix

The event is attended by Miss Torbay and her attendants who watch over proceedings and judge the best dressed team. The Grand Prix winning racers are presented with a trophy and a bottle of bubbly in true F1 style by the Rotary Club President.

Unlike the better-known Formula One event, the Pedal Car Grand Prix event also has prizes for Best Turned Out Team, Most Laps in a Standard Car, Most Laps in a Works Car and of course, Fastest Car, which last year was won by the fit young legs of the 10th Torbay Sea Scouts.

Have you ever attended a Grand Prix event (F1 or otherwise)? We’d love to hear your comments, especially if you have been part of the Rotary Pedal Car Grand Prix in Torquay.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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