Rotorua's finest up and coming race car drivers put their foot to the pedal, competing in a friendly but fierce school trolley derby.

The 2015 Kaharoa School Mike Donnelly Memorial Trolley Derby saw 49 modified carts racing yesterday to raise money for the primary school and honour the memory of much-loved father, Mike Donnelly, who died of a brain aneurism four years ago.

Peter Schweizer won the adult CTL Racers category and took home the ultimate prize, the 2015 Mike Donnelly Memorial Trophy.

Riley Russell, 13, won the Roadmaster Speedsters 11-17-year-olds category and Sam Short, 9, won the Masterbuilders Dragsters 5-10-year-olds category.

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The derby was supported and organised by the Kaharoa School Parent Teacher Association, with a team of 10 parents running the event.

Rotorua youngsters donned their helmets to take part in the annual Kaharoa School Mike Donnelly Memorial Trolley Derby

Rachael McGarvie, who is on the PTA and derby organising committee, said they were happy with the turnout and it looked like everybody had an awesome time.

"The whole day ran really smoothly and there were no crashes, though there were a few repairs to the trolleys in the pit stops."

Mike Donnelly's partner of nearly 30 years, Lisa Beamsley, said it was a fantastic day with lots of smiles and laughter.

"We all had such a wonderful time and it is so humbling to have this event in Mike's honour.

"It's a day full of emotions, it makes us sad that he isn't here to enjoy the derby but it also makes us happy that it is keeping his legacy alive."

Ms Beamsley said there were about 500 people present and she would love to see the event get even bigger in coming years.

"It's an event everyone loves," she said.

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