Youngsters at a Poole school got a taste of the excitement of a Formula One Grand Prix when they lined up on the starting grid.

All 97 students of the Victoria Education Centre and Sports College at Branksome Park, aged three to 18, took part in the third annual Wheelchair Grand Prix.

With rules set out by the older students, they powered their way or were pushed around the specially set out track in the school grounds for an hour long race.

Each “driver” had a target of laps to complete, worked out from a qualifying race, and unknown to them, and the winners were those closest to their estimated targets.

Two races, one for powered and manual wheelchairs and the other relying on helper pushing power took place, there were pit stops a VIP area, penalties for those who infringed the rules and all the thrills of the circuit.

To get them in the mood the sensory room showed film of the Monaco grand prix and the youngsters had the chance to see and sit in some real sports cars.

Friends of the school such as members of Parkstone Golf Club took along a Porsche 911, Maserati and a Ferrari California, the Lotus 7 Club took along some of their sports cars, Poole Motorcycles had a show and handed out balloons and goodie bags.

Coles Miller solicitors presented trophies to the triumphant winners who took the chequered flag. Winner of the powered race was Sophie Pritchett, 10, second was Lauren Taylor, 16, and third Kayleigh Willcox, 17.

The pushed race was won by Chelsea Bolton, 17, with second Alexander Werrell, 14, and third Danielle Crow, 12.

“It was amazing,” said PE assistant Martin Cook, who organised the event along with assistant Paula Alcott. “The students will be talking about it for six months now. And then they will start talking about what’s going to happen in the next race.”