Start your engines: Bournemouth Wheels Festival rolls into town today

Bournemouth Echo: RALLY EXCITED: John Hardy and the Excite Rallye Raid Team RALLY EXCITED: John Hardy and the Excite Rallye Raid Team

THE first Bournemouth Wheels Festival gets underway today with a host of events planned across the town until Monday night.

Organisers will be hoping that the weather holds out – with an unsettled forecast for much of the weekend.

There will be a demonstration straight on the East Overcliff, which will feature a host of historic F1 cars, Le Mans cars, supercars, Moto GP bikes and more.

On the beach, there’s a chance to see a Dakar Rally vehicle kick up some sand, while there will be Monster Trucks doing their thing as well.

The seafront will also be host to motorbike stunts and tricks from BMX, roller blade and skateboard experts.

Classic cars will be on show near Boscombe Pier, west of Bournemouth Pier and outside the Pavilion, while tonight and tomorrow night there will be an attempt from a motorbike rider to jump over the pier.

Supercars will be on show inside the BIC and military vehicles will be at Boscombe.

Speaking at the paddock area at the Bath Road South car park yesterday, Dan Whitby, who will be attempting the pier jump, said: “I can’t wait to perform in Bournemouth – and being given the opportunity to jump the famous historic pier is going to be one of the biggest highlights of my career.”

Steve Griffiths is the owner and driver of the 1989 Lotus Camel F1 car, driven during that season by Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima.

Steve said: “We’re running some short sprints along the cliff road.

“You’ll need ear muffs – there’s no explaining how loud they are, you will have to come and listen.”

The Excite Rallye Raid Team, which is based in Poole, will be running Dakar Rally vehicles on the beach.

Team principal John Hardy said: “We’re going to try to flick some sand about and get them out of shape. I hope to put on a good display.”

Each night will be rounded off with music near Bournemouth Pier and fireworks.

On Monday night the event draws to a close with bike rides and races around the town centre.

It starts at Boscombe Pier at 6.30pm with the free Bears on Bikes community ride, raising cash for Round Table Children’s Wish.

At 7.40pm the town centre will be transformed into a racing circuit, starting with the Wheels Relay Challenge, involving 12 teams of four riders.

From 8.25pm, top cyclists will take part in an elite race around the town.

  •  Find out everything about the event at bournemouthecho.co.uk/ wheels.

The souvenir programme for the event costs £7 and contains detailed information about all the attractions, as well as featuring discounts on grandstand seating and Monster Truck rides.

It is available from the Tourism Information Centre and around the festival site over the weekend.

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