Prospective Lewis Hamiltons created and then jumped into the eco-cars of the future to race against their peers.

In total, 16 teams consisting of six drivers and a pit crew of six from Essex, raced their eco-cars at Basildon.

They had spent the last six months designing and building their cars from scratch.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Greenpower school electric car challenge saw teams build a low-carbon car, which covered the farthest distance on nothing more than two sets of car batteries.

The winners of the heat won the chance to take part in the final at the famous Goodwood track on October 19.

Colchester's Philip Morant School's team Franc'n' Stein, which managed 64 laps and 70.4 miles, only narrowly missed out on first prize.

The team lost to the Bexley Business Academy, whose creation covered 78 miles.

Other schools taking part included the Stanway School, Tendring Technology College, Tabor Science College, in Braintree, Colchester Royal Grammar, St Mary's and Thomas, Lord Audley.