Getting started in lawn mower racing
This is a guide to help you get started in lawn mower racing. If you follow this procedure you shouldn’t go far wrong.
One of the very first things we suggest to anyone who wants to go lawn mower racing is to visit an event and see what is involved. If you visit our EVENT page this will tell you where the next event is.
We have also produced a flow chart for you to follow and print off.
BECOME A MEMBER
To become a member of The British Lawn Mower Racing Association (BLMRA) can be done in two ways, online or by paper. The BLMRA’s preferred method is online. You will then receive a Handbook, Cuttings (the BLMRA’s newsletter), and a membership card.
READ THE HANDBOOK
Now that you have become a member and have your handbook you must read this as most of the information contained within the book will be of use to you as you progress in lawn mower racing.
CHOOSE A GROUP
OK, so you have now read the Handbook you will now need to decide which group you would like to race in, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, or Group 4.
CHOOSE A MOWER TO RACE IN YOUR CHOSEN GROUP
So you have decided which Group you would like to race in, you now need a mower. Find a mower you would like to use and get it homologated. If you are unsure off the model you have chosen we’re afraid you will have to do a bit of research to find out what make and model it is. If you would like some more advice get in touch with the technical team. Be aware if you buy a second hand racing mower, make sure it comes with a BLMRA Log Book. If it doesn’t, then contact us to see if we know anything about it.
The whole homologation system is designed to produce a level playing field for all competitors, with no unfairly modified machines out on the track. It is a process carried out in most production classes of motor racing such as rally cars, touring cars etc. To ensure all machines meet the same criteria for racing, they need to be homologated. This means a machine must be inspected and measured before modification, to record all details of the original machine (these details are recorded in the BLMRA homologation register) Plus any necessary modifications to the machine can be discussed and agreed with the homologation team, these may be minor things such as removal of various projections for safety, or more major things such as seat lowering, maybe meaning removal of metal from the bodywork or lowering of the machine to agreed limits.
Contact the homologation team and arrange with them a time and date for you to bring the machine to them (we don’t do callouts, if we did we would be travelling all over the country at our own expense) for the homologation process to be carried out.
Following the homologation inspection, a log book and serial number will be issued, this serial number will be stamped into the chassis as a permanent registration mark of the machine (the numbers stamps are quite discrete, not huge great big things).
Once a machine has been homologated, and has the BLMRA serial number stamped on it, you take it away and carry out your build. Once built, the machine will be inspected again prior to racing, this can be at a prearranged meeting with the homologation team, or at the first race meeting the machine is brought to. If a machine is inspected after build and fails on any point, this point or problem will be discussed and depending on the severity of the problem a way to rectify the defect will be worked out to resolve the problem. This may range from refusal to race(very, very, rarely), to an agreed time frame to fix it.
The log book issued at homologation is kept by the machine owner who is responsible for it. Log book must be produced at every scrutineering session, where if the machine is deemed legal to race it will be signed and dated by the scrutineer.
THE PREPARATION OF YOUR RACING MOWER
So your mower has now been homologated and you now know what you have to do. Get building! Come along to race meetings and find out what the other racers have done, this will give you inspiration but will also help to clarify what you have been told at the time of homologation. A five minute chat with a racer is worth twenty emails!
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO GO RACING?
Good question! Apart from your new creation, you will need suitable clothing, most people now wear motocross clothing and have some form of body armour either as an extra layer or it is part of the clothing you choose. You will also need a suitable safety helmet for the intended use, some stout footwear, a pair of gloves and some goggles if you choose and open face helmet.
The BLMRA use an AMB timing system and all mowers must be fitted with a transponder. You will have to purchase or hire a transponder and buy a clip (which is permanently fixed to the mower) to hold it in. Clips are available from the club and the transponders are either hired from the club or purchased from AMB. You could even be lucky with an Ebay bargain!
READY TO RACE
All that time in the garden shed or garage has now come to fruition and your mower is ready to be entered into its first race. This will also be the first time it goes through Scrutineering, unless you have made prior arrangements to have it checked. So what do you do now?
You will need to go onto the BLMRA web site and go to the Event section where you will see the race calendar. Next to each event there is a button that says ENTER, click on this and it will take you through the process of entering your first event.
Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at your first event.