Pedal-powered cars hit Bendigo racetrack

The mechanical buzz of bullet-shaped vehicles filled the air at Bendigo Livestock Exchange on Saturday night as dozens of riders battled it out for the title of race champion.

More than 30 teams from across Victoria competed in the city's inaugural "grand prix" for energy efficient and human-powered vehicles.

Event organiser Lynden Francis-Wright said the riders were aged from about 11 to mid-20s and represented primary schools, high schools and community groups.

Ms Francis-Wright said the purely pedal-powered teams' goal was to race the longest distance in the allocated time period.

She said the energy efficient vehicles, which included battery-powered and ethanol-fueled vehicles, aimed to ride the longest distance using the least amount of fuel.

"It's a really great program, it involves a lot of teamwork for the students," she said.

"The students design, make and maintain all the vehicles themselves."

She said the 10-hour event, over a 1.2 kilometre track, was also a great practice run for Victoria's biggest race - a 24-hour competition in Maryborough in November.

"It provides a lot good endurance riding for the kids because they can ride for an hour in the day and then again at night." 

Maiden Gully Primary School teacher and community team rider Jordan Lucas said the school's Grade six riders were racing well.

The school had two teams, named Ziptar and Miss Janey.

"We've actually been undefeated for all the races in the last three to four years, but we're actually being given a run for our money today," he said.

"There's a bit of competition which is great for the kids."

Maiden Gully team member Imogen Kinder said the race-day was a lot of fun.

"It's a fun track, they've made it better from what it was last year," the 12-year-old said.

"It's bigger and there's more competition on the track, there's high-schoolers as well so you're not just racing against other primary school kids."