World lawnmower racing championships take place in UK

Ready, set, mow! Racing enthusiasts have descended on a Sussex field for the annual world championships.

There were no Ferrari’s, McLarens or Mercedes on show, replaced by sit-on John Deere’s – capable of doing a top speed of 18MPH.

The unique petrol sport has seen a resurgence of late, after it was first made popular by motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss back in 1978.

Lawnmower Racing Championship

Three competitors battle it out for the world title in lawnmower racing

And the annual world championships took place around a track stretching a quarter of a mile  at the weekend in Coneyhurst, West Sussex.

Competitors raced around the muddy circuit on one of three types of mower – traditional push lawnmowers with a seat attached, a buggy-like mower and the posh sit-down grass cutters more akin to miniature tractors.

Lawnmower Racing Championship

A driver pops a wheelie as he spins away from the starting line

One racer Christopher Plummer said: “If you’ve got spinal problems, then its not a good idea, the wheel hits your knees all the time so you wear knee pads and then the banging, its just mad.”

The grass roots sport was founded by Irishman Jim Gavin in 1973 after he looked for an alternate, cheaper motor sport to take part in.

Lawnmower Racing Championship

The race is hotly contested each year

Ever since the annual championships have taken place in the UK, with a British lawnmower championship seeing races held most weekends throughout the year.

Lawnmower Racing Championship

Two racers fight it out for pole position

OrganiserJohn Lowdell said: “I think there is a certain amount of Kudos (in winning the championship).

“People do like to say I am the current world champion.

“It takes more effort to win the British Championship because that takes place over the whole season, whereas the world championship is one meeting – but I think in terms of what people actually want, they want to be able to say they are the World Champion definitely.”