A TOUCH of Monte Carlo arrived in Hampshire yesterday.

But while the racing may have been as intense, there was no roaring of engines and Lewis Hamilton was nowhere in sight.

And instead of state-of-the-art multi-million-pound racing cars speeding round the streets of Monaco, it was pedal cars charging through the thoroughfares of Ringwood.

However there was all the drama of a high-speed crash and the odd wheel issue.

Crowds of up to 10,000 flocked to the town centre as roads closed for the much-anticipated British Pedal Car Grand Prix.

It sees teams of competitors weave through the streets of the market town aboard their innovatively- made machines.

In the moments leading up to the 2pm start, the master of ceremonies counted down over the loud speaker before the brightly decorated cars stormed off from their starting positions.

The race included pit-stops for the teams to change drivers and drama inevitably ensued with two cars overturning and even a wheel falling off mid-contest.

Among the racers was Neil Meaden, 27, who was making his debut in the event and hoping to raise money for a hospital charity.

“I am very excited to be taking part,” he said. “To be honest our aim at the moment is just to finish. The important thing to me is raising money for a good cause.”

Jackie York, dressed in red and black to match her car, was representing a bicycle club and accompanied by the team’s canine mascot Harry.

“We’re doing it in aid of children’s hospice Julia’s House,” she said.

“We just thought it would really good fun – and we decided to bring Harry along to watch too.”

Spectator Chris Vincent, an air craft squadron leader, was watching with friends and appreciating the contest from an engineering perspective.

“Some of them have really impressed me,” he added. “It is a fun event and I think everybody is having a fantastic time.”

Organised by the The British Pedal Car GP Committee, the annual race alternates between Ringwood and New Milton and raises thousands of pounds for charity.

The mayor of Ringwood, Cllr Barbara Woodifield, was in the crowds watching alongside the mayor of New Milton, Cllr David Hawkins.

Cllr Hawkins said: “It is one of the best partnerships that New Milton and Ringwood share.”

The winner of the trophy was car number 23 Patterson’s Bangers, sponsored by Patterson’s butchers in Ringwood, in a vehicle made by Martin Cherrett, who has been entering cars into the competition for more than 20 years.