BEAMINSTER School sixth formers burnt rubber in a karting race with 1996 world motor racing champion Damon Hill to raise money for charity.

And the school’s star driver Connor Townsend was less than 1.4 seconds slower than the lap record set by former racing driver Josh Hill.

The lower sixth formers were taking part in the annual Damon Hill Karting Challenge to raise money for the Halow project for youngsters with learning difficulties.

The Beaminster team finished halfway up the leader board, 17th out of 34 teams.

The Beaminster team was selected after trials at the Clay Pigeon Raceway during the Easter holidays.

The five drivers were Connor Townsend, Maria Brookes, Sam Norman, Oliver Woodcock and Georgina Clapp, who raced in that order, with each driver doing a 30-minute race stint.

The team was accompanied by Sophie Waterman and Megan Hoskins, who attended as the school photographer, and together provided regular race updates on Facebook and Twitter. Before the race, Sophie Waterman presented a cheque for £500 to Damon Hill on behalf of the school. To raise this sum, the students will be raffling a race helmet signed by Damon Hill, Josh Hill, a former racing driver who now plays the drums for the band Quixotic, and Alexander Rossi, who races in GP2 and is also the reserve driver for the Caterham Formula 1 Team.

The draw for the raffle takes place on Friday, July 11.

The race was won by Damon’s Allstars, a four-man team boasting Damon Hill, Alexander Rossi, Jack Clarke and Ollie Millroy, three professional racing drivers and a former world champion, with the fastest lap time of 50.326 seconds being set by Josh Hill.

Connor’s lap record was 51.683 seconds, just 1.357 seconds slower than Josh Hill, who used to work at Sandown Park as a driving instructor.