In order to answer the first questions that are asked when someone first hears about Lawn Mower Racing, the answers are “Yes, the blades are removed”, and “No, it doesn’t have a long extension lead!”
To be slightly more serious though, the origins of Lawn Mower Racing are based in West Sussex. This is the home of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association (www.blmra.co.uk) where the sport was created in the early 70’s by a group of guys complaining about the ever-increasing cost of competing in any form of motorsport. Several ideas were thrown around and eventually they agreed on the humble Lawn Mower.
Posters were made up for the “British Grand Prix for Lawn Mowers”, and these helped to attract about 40 competitors to the inaugural event. Since that day the sport has gone from strength to strength. The North West Lawn Mower Racing Association (www.nwlmra.org) is based in Manchester and was formed in 1982. Both clubs run very similar rules to allow racers to compete at events organised by either club.
As a general rule, there are 4 classes of Racing Lawn Mower:
Class 1 – These are walk (or rather run) behind Lawn Mowers and these can travel as fast as whoever is pushing them along!
Class 2 – Roller driven Lawn Mowers with a towed seat. Typically these Lawn Mowers would cut Cricket Pitches and Bowling Greens and are capable of about 35mph
Class 3 – Small Garden Lawn Mowers powered by a 10hp Lawn Mower engine. These are capable of speeds in excess of 50mph and are currently the favoured Class by most competitors
Class 4 – This is a new Class for small Bonneted Tractors, and as such these tend to be slightly larger in size than the Class 3 Lawn Mowers. However, they are the future of the sport and have potential top speeds of over 50mph.
Events take place from May through to October at various venues around England and Wales. Some overseas events take place in mainland Europe, but the sport has really taken off in America where there are hundreds of Lawn Mower Racers. Indeed, the sport over there attracts regular mainstream television coverage.
The Showpiece event of each season is the annual 12 Hour Endurance Race which is held in West Sussex (and typically runs 8pm to 8am – Yes, that’s right during the night!). It regularly attracts competitors from all over Europe and the race has been won in the past by teams consisting of Sir Stirling Moss and Derek Bell!
So, what are you waiting for!? Speak to someone on a forum at either British Lawn Mower Racing association or North West Lawn Mower Racing Association to start your Lawn Mower Racing career!!!
Further information can be obtained by contacting:
Websites: British Lawnmower Racing Association
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