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It's all go as Roman Roadsters storm home to win Mudchute Farm's 'go-kart grand prix'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 02 August 2019

Roman Roadsters (foreground) beating Islington's Cornwallis team over the finishing line. Picture: London Play

Roman Roadsters (foreground) beating Islington's Cornwallis team over the finishing line. Picture: London Play

London Play

Champion youngsters from Bethnal Green have outpaced all rivals to cross the finishing line in a go-kart they built themselves.

But it's not always plain sailing with pile-ups and crashes! Picture: London PlayBut it's not always plain sailing with pile-ups and crashes! Picture: London Play

The Roman Roadsters just pipped the rival Cornwallis team from Islington at this year's go-kart grand prix on the Isle of Dogs on Thursday, August 1.

Nine teams of children from adventure playgrounds and holiday playschemes arrived at Mudchute Farm, Pier Street, to work against the clock building karts from scratch.

They then raced against each other, with a couple of pile-ups and a minor controversy.

The youngsters have four hours to build their karts, some barely knowing a spanner from a screwdriver! Picture: London PlayThe youngsters have four hours to build their karts, some barely knowing a spanner from a screwdriver! Picture: London Play

Leonora Surtees, daughter of the late motorsport legend John Surtees, presented the awards.

"The main point is to have fun," she told them. "It was great to see you all doing just that."

Leonora handed a jubilant Roman Road team the winning H trophy in a shower of sparkling grape juice.

What a fun day at Mudchute Farm's go-kart grand prix for nine cometing teams from all over London. Picture: London PlayWhat a fun day at Mudchute Farm's go-kart grand prix for nine cometing teams from all over London. Picture: London Play

They also get a trip to Buckmore Park kart circuit in Kent, where Formula 1 stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button started out.

The annual Mudchute build-and-race event was staged by the London Play charity to inspire youngsters into creativity and teamwork.

Its deputy director Fiona Sutherland said: "This is what childhood should be about, having the freedom to create, experiment, test and succeed or fail and have fun with your friends in the process.

"Who knows what the experience could have sparked for their future?"

Most of the youngsters began the day not knowing a spanner from a screwdriver.

But all nine teams produced operational machines after four hours' frantic hammering and sawing.

Best teamwork award went to Newham's Terence Brown Arc team whose kart design was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landings.

The Tier-X moon buggy didn't break any records, but their collaborative working style caught the attention of Leonora Surtees.

Stratford's Abbey Hub team, also from Newham, may have failed to make it far beyond the start line, but their aquarium-themed vehicle complete with inflatable shark figurehead, bagged the "best dressed kart" prize.

The Clapton Park team from Hackney won the award for best-engineered kart, earning plaudits for its 15-year-old designer.

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