Hundreds of children got an adrenalin rush and an encounter with true greatness at the All London Go Kart Build and Race at Mudchute Park and Farm .

Motorsport legend John Surtees CBE waved the starting flag at the London Play event on the Isle of Dogs on Friday, August 5 and also handed out the prizes.

But before they could race the 16 teams of children were all given materials and tools and had the challenge of building their vehicles in just four hours.

Two teams got a helping hand from employees of estate agency JLL in Canary Wharf, which gave £600 towards sponsoring their go-karts.

Director Charlotte Malone said: “This is the third time we’ve supported London Play at this fun event.

“The work it does to tackle the exclusion of children from some activities due to financial circumstances is so important, giving them the much needed opportunity to get involved in something which they wouldn’t normally be able to.”

The Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground team were ultimately victorious in the final against Croydon’s CACFO Summer School with the Mudchute Farm team third and Camden’s Three Acres Play Centre fourth.

They will get to experience some petrol-powered karting action at Surtees’ Buckmore Park Kart Circuit in Kent, the track where F1 stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button started out.

John, 14 from the winning team said: “We made a coffin-shaped fuselage because I have a model of an F1 car at home and the bottom of it is shaped like that. It helps the aerodynamic flow and makes it go faster.”

His team mate Beneditah, 11, saw it differently.

“We won because of the chicken mascot,” she said.

It was the second year running the event has been supported by the Henry Surtees Foundation, set up in memory of the F1 driver’s late son to nurture the skills and potential of young people.

Many of the children taking part were from disadvantaged areas and plenty had never held a hammer before.

John Surtees said: “The enthusiasm and pleasure that these children obviously get in working and competing in a team that has to put heads and hands together to design and build the karts is inspiring to see.

“I hope they have discovered how much fun it is and how rewarding to make things with their hands and to test themselves. I hope this encourages them to continue.”