The spirit of racing legend Sir John Surtees lived on at the London Play Go Kart Build and Race this year.

The Formula One driver who passed away in March, aged 83, was a loyal supporter of the Isle Of Dogs event and used to go along to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation.

His charity The Henry Surtees Foundation sponsored the event again this year and daughter Leonora was there to take over the wheel from her father.

Sir John Surtees passed away in March 2017

She watched as around 100 children and young people raced against the clock to build go karts from scratch in four hours.

Leonora said: “My father spoke passionately about this event.

“It’s great to see kids from lots of different backgrounds getting involved and having fun; and also thinking that perhaps it might inspire them to do something productive in future, be it in motorsport, carpentry or another discipline.”

Leonora Surtees watches the children at work

The 12 teams then put the vehicles to the test with a series of races at the event held at Mudchute Farm And Park .

The Triangle Tornadoes from Lambeth blew the field away in their gold-wheeled pared back kart to be named overall winners on Friday, August 4.

The team of eight were handed the coveted H trophy and celebrated by spraying sparkling grape juice from the winners’ podium.

Driver Adetayo, 11, said: “It feels good to win. But we did it as a team.”

Chuddy, 15 said: “I was worried when I saw that some of the other teams had three pushers!”

Second-place was Acacia Adventure Playground team from Merton, who also got the prize for best teamwork. While Hackney’s Homerton Adventure Playground team came in third and won best dressed kart with a bright yellow and red polka dot design.

Camden’s Three Acres play group was awarded best engineered kart.

Thanks to the charity’s sponsorship the Tornadoes won the chance to experience some serious horse power at Kent’s Buckmore Park Kart Circuit, where Formula One stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button started out.

London Play’s deputy director Fiona Sutherland said: “Thanks to the Henry Surtees Foundation for again supporting this fantastic event – and well done to all who took part.

“It is amazing to see the transformation that takes place in the children over the course of a few short hours.

“They arrive to see a pile of wood and bits and some of them can’t imagine how it could be anything different.

“But by the end of the day, they have created a moving, working machine.”

Corporate volunteers from Canary Wharf businesses Cass Business School, JLL and Knight Frank all supported the event.

Director at JLL Canary Wharf Charlotte Malone said: “We are pleased to continue to support the London Play Go-Kart event.

“The work that 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.”

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