THOUSANDS of thrill-seekers and petrolheads geared up for a day of white-knuckle rides around a North-East race track in aid of a children’s charity.

Croft Circuit, near Darlington, hosted its first ever Dreamcar Event that saw more than £50 million worth of supercars and hyper cars roar into action to boost funds for the NSPCC.

Families and fans of all things on four wheels were welcomed to the track on Sunday morning (June 12) and were greeted with a clutch of high performance vehicles flanking a route to the circuit’s 2.1 mile track.

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TV presenter Craig Phillips hosted the day filled with thrills and spills before being joined by Geordie Shore and I’m A Celebrity star, Vicky Pattinson, ahead of a fundraising auction.

Bids to ride in the passenger seat of a McLaren P1 GTR and McLaren 650S GT3, courtesy of Stokesley-based Gibson Motorsport, peaked at £400 for a few minutes inside the multi-million pound vehicles.

Young car fanatics, Jack Watson, 13, and Harrison Cutler, 11, were two of only a handful of Dreamcar guests who experienced the full-throttle thrill ride.

Mr Watson said: “I loved it – I was moving forwards and backwards a lot because it goes so fast. I was holding onto the handle inside of the car for dear life.”

Mr Cutler added: “It was amazing. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I really enjoyed it.”

Hundreds of other petrolheads at the North Yorkshire track between 8.30am and 5pm were also given exclusive access to hot laps in high-performance Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins.

Jason Holman, Dreamcar Event organiser and NSPCC supporter, said: “The auction’s an exclusive and once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a ride in these cars, all in aid of the NSPCC.”

Money raised through the event has been pledged to the children’s charity in a bid to boost its School Service remit which delivers safeguarding assemblies and workshops to nine to 11-year-olds in primary schools.

Many North-East children attended the inaugural Dreamcar show and were keen to meet members of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit who have recently starred in Channel 5’s Police Interceptors.

Sergeant Kevin Salter, PC Mike “Spike” Fisher, and PC Damien “Damo” Stevens proved popular among fans of the TV show who queued up for pictures and signed cards from the trio.

Sgt Salter said: “It’s all about engaging with the public. We’ve handed out 600 signed photographs today and taken plenty of selfies which seems to be the thing now.

“It’s a long day, but it’s worth it to get the message out there.”

The team brought along a collection of cars from their unit, as well as a Nissan Almera that had been written off by a drunk driver on County Durham’s roads.

PC Fisher added: “We’ve brought a car along today that people won’t get to see otherwise and it shows the serious impact of driving after having a drink.

“It shows what happens when things go wrong and we’re here to talk about road safety, especially at this time of year with the Euro’s on.”