A shocked race director says he could have been killed or seriously injured after he was almost hit by a racing car.

Thousands of people had flocked to Ringwood town centre to watch the British Pedal Car Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, which sees roads closed as competitors weave through the streets in homemade pedal cars.

A parade lap before the main event was set to be led by a vintage Formula 5000 car driven by enthusiast Barry le Prevost, who part owns nearby pub the Lamb Inn.

However, as video shot by the Daily Echo shows, the showcase almost turned to disaster as the vehicle suddenly accelerated towards race director Steve Fowler, who was forced to jump into a crash barrier to avoid being struck.

“I was roughly 30 or 40 yards away from him and I just couldn't believe how fast he went,” said Mr Fowler. “He went full power I imagine. I don't know what speed he went but I saw my life come up in front of me.”

“I think I just managed to get out of the way before the front wheels clipped me. I just jumped into the crash barrier.”

Mr Fowler described how he has not been able to stop thinking about the incident since it happened and had been left shocked.

He added: “There were pedestrians' two to three deep just lining up by the crash barrier. It could have been so much worse. There were children, families, pushchairs.

“There was a crash barrier between the pedestrians and the road but if he had hit that crash barrier with me in front of it the crash barrier would have crashed into all those people.”

Mr le Prevost admitted he had been doing 'a little bit of a burnout' when the incident occurred and that the near-miss had 'turned his stomach'.

“I saw him at the last minute,” he said. “I did not expect him.

“He decided to come out when I was travelling at quite a fair old speed.”

A spokesperson for the British Pedal Car Grand Prix said Mr le Prevost had been asked prior to the event to drive slowly.

He added: "The organising committee of this year's British Pedal Car Grand Prix deeply regrets that the actions of one person could potentially put at risk the wellbeing of the general public and volunteers at this year's race.

“Every effort will be made to avoid any and all risks at future events."