AN ANNUAL spectacle which turned the streets of Ringwood into an F1-style racetrack drew crowds of thousands on Sunday.

The popular British Pedal Car Grand Prix saw the drivers of a collection of homemade vehicles compete for the crown during the afternoon.

A number of town centre roads closed to traffic to allow the two-hour contest to take place.

Race director Tony Butterworth said this year's event was all about fun after competitors began taking the contest 'a little more seriously'.

"It's been absolutely brilliant, as usual," he said.

"It's been very hectic and very, very hot, but it was a good close race and a real event."

In first place were a father-and-son team who pedalled for half-hour stints each. Mr Butterworth's team were third - and just three seconds behind the group in second place.

"We had a great mix of people - lots of people out there for fun and others who really want to win," he said.

The pedal cars involved in the event went on show at the Furlong Centre for several hours before the race itself began during mid-afternoon.

The race switches between two venues, with New Milton and Ringwood taking it in turns to host the event.

This year’s main sponsor was Ringwood Brewery, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Mr Butterworth said crowds enjoy a "carnival-type atmosphere".

"The feedback has already been tremendous," he said.

"It really is something people of all ages can enjoy. One of the most serious competitors is in his 70s.

"It's just great fun."

Competitors often come from across the UK and even Europe, with at least one of the competitions attracting entrants from Germany.

The first British Pedal Car Grand Prix took place in Ringwood in 1987.

Each of the races raises funds for good causes.