THOUSANDS of people lined the streets to cheer on their favourites in the New Milton Pedal Car Grand Prix.

The town was bathed in glorious sunshine as the 36 teams took their places on the grid ahead of the gruelling two-hour race.

Drivers as young as 11-years-old waited in anticipation as Fleetwood Mac's The Chain blared out over loud speakers in Station Road.

Then they were off as Town Mayor David Rice-Mindy waved the chequered flag.

The venue for the annual event alternates between New Milton and Ringwood with many teams returning year after year.

Each team consisted of four drivers, one mechanic and one pusher and it was a highly competitive affair from the off.

Speedy members of the MacMinions were so determined to do well that one of their drivers lost control on a hairpin bend, losing a wheel in the process.

Race Director Conrad Curtis said speeds can reach up to 35mph as the drivers attempt to overtake each other.

The event was organised by the New Milton Jubilee Committee, made up of Round Table, Rotary and Lions club members.

Eddie Lewis, 11, was taking part in his first Grand Prix as a member of the Speedy Scouts team.

And Hampshire Fire and Rescue's Flaming Cheaters were in the running once again.

Team member Ian Stockley, a retained firefighter at Ringwood, said: "We take part every year and we usually manage a top 10 spot. Hopefully we can do the same this year."

Nicola Roy, one of the Women in Black from the Colin Hayley and Tapper Funeral Service team said: "I'm a bit nervous because I've never done this before. I was roped in when someone else pulled out but I didn't realise they'd be going quite so fast."

Spectator Sarah Churchill from Ringwood said: "My kids like to come to see this every year. They hope to take part when they're older."

And David Ward from Christchurch added: "I'm impressed they can keep going so well in this heat - they must be exhausted."