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Top gear fun - with or without Hamster

PUBLISHED: 17:54 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:37 12 July 2010

Attendance at this year's big Botesdale soapbox grand prix is expected to top the one thousand mark.

Now in its' fourth year, the charity event is held on August bank holiday Monday and has been an overwhelming success with more contestants and spectators each time.

Attendance at this year's big Botesdale soapbox grand prix is expected to top the one thousand mark.

Now in its' fourth year, the charity event is held on August bank holiday Monday and has been an overwhelming success with more contestants and spectators each time.

BBC TV Top Gear star Richard Hammond has been invited to participate this time, but reluctantly declined due to filming commitments although he has promised to turn up and ride a cart if schedules allow.

The event starts at 1.30pm and has expanded by the addition of entertainment for children, including a fun fair in the street. Local traders are also benefiting with the chip shop and Chinese takeaway, opening especially on the day, and a hog roast which always sells out.

Organiser Chris Burnard said: “The entrants are a mixture of speed merchants and novelty carts with last year's fastest, Cock Inn Racing, What You Wanna Do, and The Banford Special sure to be battling it out to the final to clinch the first prize of a cheap trophy, and a bottle of bubbly.

“The children's race is equally competitive with The Dolphineette and Joe Massingham vying for first place. All in all it's set to be a great day come rain or shine.”

Last year nearly £600 was raised from race sponsorship, street collections and car parking, with all proceeds split between the village hall, the after school club and the Christmas tree appeal. This year the money raised will be divided between the village hall, East Anglia's Children's Hospices, and Rickinghall football club.

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