In a move that is sure to get animal rights protesters mad with rage, MTV is turning to racing Hamsters to bring in the crowds for its MTV overdrive, its online on-demand music and entertainment service.

The Hamtrak ‘06 racing tournament will incorporate some of the biggest names on the speed-loving hamster circuit, and according to MTV, promises to be the highlight of this year’s rodent racing calendar.

MTV is keen to point out, no hamsters were harmed in the making of the four-race tournament for the coveted Overdrive Cup.

In an ode to what is bound to become cult TV watching, Racing teams are sponsored by well-known media or entertainment brands.

The hamster celebrity contenders, their sponsors and chosen sets of ‘wheels’ are:

“The Overtaker “ – Team XFM, last seen driving a hearse over a competitor
“Captain Hamster” – Team The Sun, sporting a dragster
“Hillbilly Hamster” - Team Hick, rolling around in a pick-up with a hip-flask
“Rocket Rodent” – Team Nuts, definitely not shooting blanks
“Surfster” – Team Pimp My Ride, hanging ten on a yellow beach buggy
“Hot Rodent” – Team NMA, decked out digitally with on board sat nav
“Hamsterminator” – Team NME, with its black/red/yellow flame tank
“Rocket Rodent” – Team Carisma, a lean green exploding machine

Each race will be available to view only on MTV Overdrive. Punters can select their favourite team, bet on which hamster hero they think will win and view their progress as each team battles to lift the fabled Overdrive Cup.

The first of the four races in Hamtrak ‘06 will be shown exclusively on Overdrive on Friday 19th May from the Hammywood Hills race track.

The following races; including Baja Beach, Hamsterdam Raceway and The Chequered Floor, will then be aired on consecutive Fridays at the same time.

To view the races log on to