If it has wheels and an engine, people will find a way of racing it.
If you wanted proof that the above statement is true, just head to Wakefield Park this weekend. Everyone is familiar with the concept of truck racing, and indeed the Super Truck events are some of the most popular among spectators.
But while the trucks will no doubt turn plenty of heads, spectators at the top of the hill might not be spending the entire event with their eyes directed at the main circuit. And that’s because, on a specially-designed course at the top of the hill, a fleet of ride-on lawnmowers will be battling for bragging rights.
That’s right folks, thanks to Showmow Racing and the Southern Mower Racing Club, lawnmower racing is heading to Wakefield Park, and iconic mower brands such as Victa, John Deere and Husqvarna will be fighting for supremacy.
According to Southern Mower Racing Club president Aaron Lloyd, the mowers that participate in the competition feature a range of modifications to make them suitable for racing.
“First and foremost, we remove the cutting deck, which is the part with the blades,” Lloyd said.
“Apart from that, we use heavy-duty pulleys and we swap them around so the larger pulley is on the front and the smaller one is on the rear – that’s how we get more speed out of them. We also modify the steering and ride height.”
Older mowers have proven to be the most popular, and they typically have manual gearboxes. The regulations cater for different classes depending upon speed and level of modification, including beginner, intermediate, standard, modified and super-modified. There is also a “masters” class for riders over the age of 50.
The Showmow Racing Australia Series consists of 12 race meetings per year, and each meeting will typically include a series of 8-lap races. The championship pointscore rewards competitors not only for their on-track performances, but also for participation within the club, with extra points awarded to those who volunteer at working bees or put their mowers on static display.
The club also runs the Mowtiv8 program (sponsored by Hotondo Homes), which enables disabled people to experience the freedom and sensation of being able to control a four-wheeled vehicle.
Lloyd is expecting plenty of attention from the Wakefield Park crowd.
“With the course we’ve set up, the racing will be close and exciting, and pretty much anyone can win each race,” he said.
“There are some good drivers to look out for – Hunter Lynch is one of our younger competitors and he’s very fast. Rod Dickinson and Peter Johnston will both be quick as well.”
Anyone interested in becoming involved in lawnmower racing is encouraged to visit showmowracing.com or visit the Showmow Racing Australia Facebook page.