Swire Group

Karters pedal round the clock to raise funds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 November, 2004, 12:00am

The 24-hour Hong Kong Pedal Kart Grand Prix, which returns to its original venue - Victoria Park - this weekend, aims to raise $1 million for charity.

The annual fund-raising event, organised by Round Table 10 and the Hong Kong Human-Powered Vehicle Association, has collected more than $25 million since its inception in 1986.

Teams have drivers who take turns to pedal the vehicle around a track. Their performance is measured by Formula One professionals, MST Sports Timing. The all-time 24-hour distance record is 724 kilometres set in 1995 by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC)/Intergraph team. The RHKYC also holds the women's record (656.64km), which was established in 2000.

Forty teams have designed their own karts and will race in several categories.

Last year at Morse Park, Wong Tai Sin, the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO) powered home first with a slick new kart. Team HAECO, who also won the overall title in 1996, 1997 and 1998, covered 708km, or 1,237 laps, to take the chequered flag in their Reebok-sponsored vehicle.

Island School (winners in 1991, 1992, 1993), HAECO, and the Hong Kong Hash House Harriers (1988, 1989, 1990) are the only teams that have won the overall championship three years consecutively.

Last year, MTR Angels won the ladies' category, covering 489km, or 854 laps.

Major companies, such as Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Electric, the MTR Corporation and CLP Power, have been regular participants in the race.

West Island School and Australian International School will be gunning for the schools' title. King George V School have entered five teams but have yet to confirm their participation. South Island School and Island School are absent this year.

In 1992, the Hong Kong School of Motoring raised $342,121 - a record for a team - during the event. The record for total sponsorship - $2.14 million - was achieved in 1989. Physiotherapy company, Byrne and Hickman, will be on hand to soothe aching limbs, and a restaurant run by the Hong Chi Association will be open through the night.

There is a kart parade at 2pm tomorrow, with the race starting at 3pm.