Mower racing madness
THE Bundaberg Turfburners Club had its inception on a Sunshine Coast veranda where Sean Chisholm was watching two of his neighbours mow adjoining properties.
Inspiration came among the scent of freshly mown grass and taste of fermented hops, and Mr Chisholm initiated a race up the neighbours’ common fence.
His eureka moment has since spawned mower racing clubs on the Sunshine and Gold coasts and in Bundaberg, Maryborough and Brisbane.
Enthusiasts have taken their mowers out of the backyard and on to the racing track for regular competitions.
Bundaberg turfburner Harry Sanderson will host the latest race at a cane farm this weekend.
He promises a high-octane day of thrills and spills, with competitors putting their modified mowers to the limit.
“It’s going to be a fair spectacle. There’s nothing quite like mower racing,” he said.
“There have been a few broken bones over the years, but it’s all in good fun.”
With a tinker here and a tweak there, racers have turned garden-variety lawnmowers into fearsome speed machines.
Engine modifications are forbidden, but mower racers can change gearing ratios and pulley sizes to produce speeds of up to 110kmh.
The mowers are lowered to 74mm off the ground, the wheel base is extended and steering geometry is altered to ensure racers can pull off break-neck turns at top speeds.
“Anything over 80kmh gets pretty damned scary,” Mr Sanderson said. “But we really work over the mowers to make them as safe as they can be.”
This weekend, racers will gun their mowers at a clay-based 400m track on a cane property at Moorlands Road.
Mr Sanderson said spectators could be assured of plenty of entertaining viewing.
“There will be a St John’s Ambulance there to glue us back together if anything goes wrong,” he added.
The Bundy Turfburners Mower Racing Carnival will be held on a Moorlands Road property.
Signs on Moorlands Road will point motorists in the right direction.
Entry is $5, with under-12s free.
Proceeds will go to a children’s charity of the club’s choice.
For more info, phone 4151 6424.