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Pedal car grand prix chief's 'life flashed before his eyes' in Formula 5000 race car near miss
Updated 10:55am Tuesday 15th July 2014 in News
Thousands of people had packed 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 led by Barry le Prevost, owner of the nearby Lamb Inn, who was driving a vintage Formula 5000 car.
But despite organisers asking him to drive slowly, in video footage that has since emerged the vehicle can be seen suddenly accelerating towards race director Steve Fowler, who was forced to jump into a crash barrier to avoid being struck.
He said: “I was roughly 30 or 40 yards away from him and I just couldn’t believe how fast he went.
“I don’t know what speed he went but I saw my life come up in front of me. I just managed to get out of the way before the front wheels clipped me. I just jumped into the crash barrier.”
Mr Fowler 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 and pushchairs.”
When asked about the incident, 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’.
He said: “I saw him at the last minute. 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.”