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English Riviera Pedal Car Grand Prix

Pedal as One - 39th Annual Pedal Car Grand Prix | 21/7/2017

After weeks of fevered preparation and fastidious organisation, the 39th Annual Rotary International Pedal Grand Prix had arrived. Sunday 16th July started at 07:30 when the set-up team arrived at the One Insurance Solution (OIS) office near The Willows to load everything required into three cars, which then headed off in convoy to Torre Abbey Meadows, on the beautiful Torquay seafront. This annual tradition continues to build in popularity year-on-year and generates awareness of the great work done by local charities.


The seven teams were set-up in the extensive Fayre within their own promotional area. OIS raised their gazebos alongside the arts & crafts stalls, refreshment tents and charitable organisations. The OIS raffle was held and donations were collected for their chosen charity, Rowcroft Hospice. With all the excitement of the up-coming race it was important to remember that this is why we were all there, though the partisan clamour for the prestige of qualifying in pole position was certainly helping the anticipation to build. OIS qualified in third position overall, raising the possibility of a glorious race win.

Grand Prix

With the race scheduled to begin at 14:00, all competitors were ordered to their cars and lined up in their grid positions for the grand parade lap. By this time the ever-swelling crowd were positioned around the entire course, drawn by the fine weather and muscular competitors. The atmosphere was built-up further by an excellent commentary from Rotary International (Babbacombe & St Marychurch branch). They conducted three separate open-mic interviews with OIS prior to the start, as well as providing umpteen mentions throughout the race.

Parc Ferme

After 2 hours of sweat, pain and broken chains, as well as intermittent outbreaks of drizzle, an outstanding effort from the eleven team members culminated in OIS finishing in fourth place with 90 laps completed. The final lap ended in an impromptu champagne-style spray over the OIS rider and car, a welcome relief after the exhausting effort expended. OIS is sure to compete again next year, aiming to finish as (what else?) number One.

Post-Race Media Conference

OIS Head of Operations Vanessa Casey said, “May I give a massive thank you to every person that attended on Sunday and what a fantastic effort from everybody, whether you were a rider, money collector or supporter. It was a great day for a great cause”.

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