A Guide To The Wacky World of Lawnmower Racing
Lawnmowers are extremely convenient machines when it comes to cutting the grass, but don’t forget they’re also great for racing around on a dirt track too.
If you’ve never tried lawnmower racing before then you’re missing out. It’s great fun! If you want to get involved then take a look at the following Blue Box Batteries guide, where we explore the history of lawnmower racing and take a look at how you can become part of this incredible, action-packed sport.
So when and where did it all begin? 1973 is the answer, when the sport was independently invented by an Irishman named Jim Gavin and his friends in a pub near Horsham, West Sussex.
The premise of the sport was to act as an alternative to mainstream and expensive motorsports with no sponsorship, cash prizes, or modifications to the engines. Remarkably, the same principles and rules that were created in 1973 still stand today.
Since the inception of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association (BLMRA) there are now roughly 250 active members. The BLMRA hosts 12 races throughout the year, which take place from May to October. Some of these races include The British Championship, The World Championships, and the popular 12 Hour Endurance Race too.
Of course the mowers themselves (usually either ride-on or self-propelled) are modified by having the blades removed for safety reasons and the sport today attracts people from all backgrounds and ages.
So with a brief history out of the way, if you want to partake in this sport, how do you go about getting involved?
First of all, if you’re swaying to the idea of jumping on a lawnmower and racing around, it’s advised to visit a local event to see if you think it would be worth taking part.
If you like what you see, your next step is to become a member of the BLMRA by either signing up online or filling in the relevant forms. Once complete, you will receive a handbook, newsletter and a membership card.
After reading the handbook and choosing a race group, you’ll need to find a mower that you would like to race in, before making sure that it’s homologated (inspected and approved to race). The reason lawnmowers need to be homologated is so they adhere to the rules and to also ensure that a level playing field is set for all competitors.
The process to carry out the above requires you to get in touch with the BLMRA and arrange a date and time for you to take it to them to be inspected.
After the lawnmower has been approved you can take it away and carry out your build. The mower will also need to be inspected for a second time before you begin you can start racing.
What else do you need?
Besides the lawnmower (it would be a little tricky without this of course) you will also need the correct clothing, a safety helmet, and goggles if you will be using an open faced style helmet, as well as gloves for driving.
Most people choose to wear protective motocross clothing with extra layers of body armour for added safety, so if you don’t have this, it’s well worth investing in. Lastly, you will need to buy or hire a transponder and a clip so that times can be measured and recorded during races.
With registration, all of the gear and the relevant checks carried out, you’ll be ready to take part in your first lawnmower race.
When are races held?
The best way to see which races/events are taking place and when they are is to look at the Events category on the British Lawn Mower Racing Association website.
Here, you will be able to view a calendar of all upcoming races in addition to looking back through the archives at previous results and winners.
Best of luck in your lawnmower racing adventures, we’ve no doubt that when you start racing you’ll wonder why you didn’t take this sport up earlier on in your life.
Remember too that if you need a new battery for your lawnmower for racing (or for simply cutting the lawn at home) we stock an extensive range here at Blue Box Batteries.
Lawnmower image from Bigstock.