MOWER RACING - FORMULA
|Burning rubber, cutting grass!
Inside Out presenter Chris Packham
revved up to take part in the Mower Racing World Championships where he found there's nothing
more exciting than the smell of petrol and fresh cut grass.
The British Lawnmower Racing Association was founded in
1973 by bunch of sporting enthusiasts bemoaning the increasing costs of
mainstream motor sport.
After just two or three events in the first few years
the association soon began runnng more than a dozen events each season.
Racing takes place between May and October, and includes
the season-long national championships, the British Grand Prix, an annual
12 hour race and World Championships at the end of every year.
The world championships are held over two days and are
based on a points system in a series of heats.
And it was this event that Inside Out visited to get a taste of what lawnmower
racing is all about.
Jonas - Group Three World Champion
are four categories
As in ordinary motor racing there
are various classes of competition - from Group 1, which involves 'pushalong'
mowers, to Group 4 - the heavyweight 10 horse power sit-on class.
Sean Jonas, a farm worker from Worthing, was a favourite
in the 'Group 3s'
the fastest group.
The final GP3 race was all between Sean and one other
competitor - "the man in black" - who was neck and neck on points
Luckily Sean won the race - and is now world champion!
But not everyone can win
Christine Bunch, a mum of seven from Selsea, is a newcomer
to the sport.
She was in group two, riding the Atco 8 bhp, and sadly
didn't do as well as Sean.
She says she's good on the the straights but everyone
overtakes her on the corners! So no gold medals for Christine this year.
Ronald Davis is known as Rocket Ron
Aged 72, retired telephone engineer Ron began taking part
in the sport in his late 60s.
He is the Group 4 UK champion, but didn't hit top form
at the world championships, riding his 10 horse power 'Westwood Gazelle'.
But it's the taking part that counts
Ron says keeping young is all about
your frame of mind and heartily agreed when Chris Packham quoted Oscar
Wilde, "You're only as old as the woman you feel."
So how did our man do?
Presenter Chris Packham entered in the Group 1s
mowers you have to push.
His team won but didn't get the trophy. The reason? Over
the two days the other team had accumulated more points.
Never mind - there's always next season!