A Sporting Pioneer: The British Lawn Mower Racing Association

The British Lawn Mower Racing Association was founded in 1973, the birth year of lawn mower racing, in Wisborough Green, West Sussex, England. The sport was created in order to give ordinary people a chance to experience the thrill of racing without having to worry about costs.

The idea of racing mowers came from Jim Gavin, a rally car driver, who saw a greens keeper mowing the cricket pitch. He thought that racing mowers would be a great alternative to expensive types of motor sports.

The idea was to keep costs down – no commercialism, sponsorship, and no cash prizes either. The race began as pure sport and pure fun.

Tot his day, the British Lawn Mower Racing Association sticks to its non-profit origins. Well organized races are held each year including the well anticipated 12-Hour Race. Any profit that the association realizes is given directly to charity.

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Racing Events and Groups:

The association holds different racing events each year, you can check out the calendar of events at http://www.blmra.com.uk to see if there is an event near your area. It’s always fun to watch racing mowers top of 25 KPH (or 40 MPH for those on the West side of The Pond).

As far as racing groups are concerned, there are 4 types of mowers that are being raced and sanctioned by the British Lawn Mower Racing Association.

Group 1 – Classic, hand-held, roller driven mowers that can go as fast as you can run. This fun but exhausting type of lawn mower racing is a fantastic workout as you literally push the mower to the finish line. Only the strong and fit win these types of mower races.

Group 2 – These are self-propelled cylindrical mowers with towed seats. You can drive these types of racing mowers with either a tuned or un-tuned engine. Just make sure to that you browse the handbook for your specific race.

Group 3 – Ride-on, wheel driven mowers with chassis and no more than 18HP engines. The rule is, your mower should be originally designed and sold to mow domestic lawns. The British Lawn Mower Racing Association is very strict with this rule.

This is an exciting group to race in because the experience is similar to riding an ATV; rugged and bumpy.  You must have your racing mowers approved before you can race.

Group 4 – These are tractor type mowers with covered front-mounted engine. This is becoming the favorite among the groups because of the thrill and adrenaline rush that it generates. Mowers in this group can reach speeds of up to 31KPH (50MPH).

As with group 3, all group 4 mowers must be approved by a representative of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association prior to racing.

Unlike its American counterparts (USLMRA and ALMRA) the BLMRA limits engine modifications allowed to keep costs down. On most races, the governor and pulleys are the only ones that you can touch.

If you are interested in racing mowers, you can contact the British Lawn Mower Racing Association via their website at http://www.blmra.co.uk.

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