Next Race Meeting:
Cross Country Racing, Newdigate, Surrey. 15/16th June.
If you fancied something a little different, then I hope you made sure you entered. It has been a long while since we’ve had a cross country as finding willing land owners is difficult. Well done to Pugs Reeves and Richard Atherton for sorting out this event. It will consist of racing in fields and woods.
This will be a championship round weekend.
Drivers’ briefing will be at 9.00am. Please make sure you are there on time, as there will be a lot to discuss.
After the first 2 race meetings, it has been deemed necessary to clarify 2 important safety issues:
1) The mower cut out must be no longer than 1metre long when fully extended. If it is of a curly type then it must be restricted by a piece of cord or something similar.
2) The bonnet must be fully attached to its mower at all times. Any mower losing its bonnet during a race MUST immediately stop and either fix it or retire from that race.
Post-Race Clearing Up: In general, racers are very good at helping to clear up all the equipment after each meeting. However, this doesn’t always extend to raking in the corners. There is now no excuse, as we have 2 new lightweight and user-friendly rakes. All too often, it is left to one or two committee members to do this.
Remember, the track can only ever be as good as we left the field after the previous race meeting, and racing cannot happen without your help.
Jim and Mary Gavin:
Jim and Mary have finally moved back to Ireland. We wish them both a long and peaceful rest back in their native land.
On behalf of everyone who has ever been involved with mower racing, I would like to thank them for both their friendship and all the hard work they put into making this club what it is today.
Whilst I and countless older members have known Jim and Mary for many years, newer members to the racing fraternity possibly have little idea who Jim and Mary Gavin are, and therefore unaware of their commitment to the sport. So, for their benefit, here is a short history lesson.
Jim was among those drinking in the Cricketer’s Arms that fateful day in 1973, when it was decided to race lawn mowers. He took the helm of the fledgling club over 45 years ago, had the vision to get lawn mower racing recognised as an official motor sport and guided it for 25 years into the club we all recognise today. Although he then handed the reins over to Pete, both he and Mary continued to be involved in the background.
Jim came over to England in 1964, initially for one year, to work as a mechanic with a racing team based in London. But he enjoyed himself so much he stayed for six years!
In 1970, he decided to stay in the English countryside for 6 months before returning to Ireland, and found a suitable place in Wisborough Green.
That 6 months stretched to 49 years!!!!!
About a year ago Mary and Jim bought a small bungalow in Warrenpoint, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, as an investment, but then thought ‘why not move there’, as they have oodles of friends and family there.
Ladies’ Jolly to Benidorm:
While the male species of the club was busy racing at Capel over the weekend, the ladies abandoned their partners and took themselves off on their yearly beano. This time they went to sunny Spain; Benidorm to be precise, staying in the Solana hotel, immortalised by the ITV comedy “Benidorm”. The less said about the trip the better. Suffice to say, everyone had a fantastic time.
If you missed out on this trip, you are a mower lady, and would like to join them on their next weekend away on Fri 18th Sept to Mon 21st Sept 2020 (3 nights), please come and see Vikki at Newdigate for more information, or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.
12 Hour entries have been open since May and entries are steadily coming in. Remember, the earlier you enter the cheaper it is. First price increase will be from the 22nd June and will go up from £165.00 to £199.00 per team. It is encouraging to see Tourist Class teams have entered this event as well.
Cranleigh Show, Sunday 30th June:
We have been asked back again to display our mowers at this large country show and then demonstrate them in the arena. This is an ideal opportunity to promote the sport and in particular the 12 hour. If there are any members who are able to help on the day, or loan a mower to improve the display please get in touch. Last year was good fun and we won best stand award.
Synopsis of Championship Standings as of 19/05/2019
Group 2: 1st Graham Tibbenham just ahead of Mike Cresswell by 1 pt.
Group 3: 1st Dean Fuller. Sean Tanswell in 2nd also just ahead of Ross Challinor by 1 pt.
Group 4: 1st Gary Botting.
Full Race and Championship Results at end of Cuttings.
Reservoir Dip Report:
The first race of the season always attracts a lot of entries and this year was no exception, with a total of 36 entries, 17 of those being in group 3.
After the fabulous weather over the Easter period, our first race meeting weekend at Reservoir Dip proved to be anything but. Saturday was cold and windy, with Sunday not much better.
Even so, spirits in the paddock were high. Many were sporting either new, modified or just cleaned and repainted mowers, but all itching to find out whether all the efforts made over the winter improved performance on the track.
The main talking point from Saturday’s racing was that Dean Fuller had somehow managed to not just shave but carve 25 kilos off the weight of his lawnbug making an already very quick driver almost unassailable. Graham Tibbenham in gp 2, having bought Steve Kingstone’s mower was also flying, giving Mike Cresswell, the undisputed king of gp2, a run for his money.
The club BBQ was held on Saturday evening but the rain and cold wind forced everyone to huddle under the race control tent in an effort to keep dry and warm. Thanks to Pete Hammerton and Vikki Reeves for getting and preparing the food, and to Pugs and Kiwi Stuart Johnson, for cooking.
Sunday’s racing was a repeat of Saturday’s format, racing in the reverse direction, after a few track adjustments.
Self-marshalling was in operation this meeting and we are intent on continuing this throughout the season.
Highlight of the day’s racing had to be the first gp3 championship race.
10 mowers lined up on the starting grid, Andy Green, starting from the front. He was quickly overtaken by both Ross Challinor and Peter Sque , starting 2nd and 3rd respectively. Gradually the faster mowers made their way through the pack. Dan Jones, starting 5th was the first to catch and overtake Pete on lap 7 taking 2nd place. Meanwhile, Stuart Johnson starting from the back of the grid had fought his way to 4th and Sean Tanswell, starting just in front of Stuart, was in 5th place, although there was an appreciable gap between the now 3rd place man, Peter and Stuart 4th. Dan continued to harass Ross for 5 laps, ducking this way and that, trying to find a way past Ross. Many a time the two mowers were side by side but Ross just managed to stay ahead, until in the 13th lap, while negotiating one of the 3 hairpins, Dan’s mower stalled: Pete, following so close behind Dan, ran into the back of him, allowing both Stuart and Sean to pass them, Sean leapfrogging Stuart in the process to take 2nd place. Ross looked set to win, when at the 2nd to last hairpin before the start/finish line, Ross went too wide, and with the mower on two wheels and Ross’s leg high in the air, desperately trying to retain stability, left the door wide open for both Sean and Stuart to pass. With no time to recover, Ross saw his race win disappear so close to the line.
An excellent race to watch. Result: Sean 1st, Stuart 2nd, Ross 3rd , Pete 4th and Dan 5th.
Junior Class: As you should know, the committee is keen to introduce a junior class. Discussions and trials are in progress on how the speed of a current race mower can be restricted so that the same mower can be used by both adults and juniors. One idea trialled on the Sunday was the use of a restrictor plate which is inserted between the manifold and carburettor. Pete Hammerton had some made up varying in sizes from 28mm down to 14mm. Smaller ones will need to be made as even the 14mm proved to be too large as the mowers still were going too fast. Thanks to Stuart Johnson, Richard Atherton and others for testing them out. More trials will continue to be carried out in subsequent meetings, but hopes are high that we can find a solution.
Finally thanks to -
Chris and Anne Brown – use of field
Pugs Reeves – Organising
Mark Thurston/Carl Williams – Clerking
Charlie Gould – bringing trailer
Vikki Reeves, Laura Clegg, Clare Williams, Colin Clegg – Lap scoring, race starts, flag waving and collating results.
Everyone who helped marshal, set up and/or clear away.
This weekend had to be run without the support of the many wives/partners who lap score, wave flags etc and generally help the weekend’s racing run smoothly, as they were on their weekend away.
The weather was OK and racing followed the recognised racing format, the track including a joker lap. Dean Fuller was again demonstrating his skill. Last race on Sunday was an animal race. To everyone’s relief the weekend ran to the end of the day without incident; the past couple of years have been curtailed by accidents
Capel also saw a newly built Murray taking to the track for the first time. Driven by Kenny Goodesmith, Alfie smith and Daniel Mahkonen, they turned up and drove it like it should be. They raced amazingly well all weekend and put the cat amongst pigeons shall we say. These boys are definitely worth keeping an eye on.
A few complaints about the track – see above for remedy.
Red Bull Event: Axbridge, Somerset.
Although this is a Red Bull event, they again received guidance and expertise from our club in putting on this type of event. In particular, I would like to thank Pugs Reeves for all his time and patience liaising with Louis from Red Bull, and helping to make the event happen. Also thanks to Mark Thurston for Clerking the event for the second time.
This is Red Bull’s second year at putting on a lawn mower event and expectations were high after last year’s success. This is a one day event and this year they included a tourist class allowing those from the other recognised clubs running mowers with differing rules and regs to the BLMRA to enter. A total of 60 mowers entered, of those 10 were in the tourist class, including a team from the newly formed group in Scotland.
The format consisted of 4 different types of races, with points gained accumulating throughout the day, until the final grand prix where the top 10 in each class competed for a Red Bull trophy.
The track was constructed during the week and consisted of several berms, 2 table tops, and a bridge running over the track made using a shipping container courtesy of JCB.
As always with mower racing, weather plays a crucial role in the proceedings, and this event was no exception. The powers that be decided that it should rain virtually continuously on Friday all day and night, adding strong winds into the mix as well for good measure, so come the morning, the track was far from perfect, and previously erected gazebos needed to be either re-erected or retightened.
In stark contrast, Saturday was dry with blue skies and a warm sun, but a chilly westerly breeze. However, as the wind and sun dried the battered track out during the course of the day lap times came down considerably.
A good days racing was had by all, with the inevitable spills and thrills. Two potentially hazardous situations, both involving the exit from the bridge. In gp 3, Sean Tanswell’s handlebars snapped, and in gp 2, Mike Cresswell, clipped a bale and rolled it. Both drivers were OK, Mike a bit bruised.
In last year’s gp 4 final, Gary Botting, sitting on pole, upended his mower, so dashing any hope of a win. This year, starting in 2nd place on the grid, he redeemed himself, by overtaking pole sitter Phil Jennings after the first lap, only just managing to keep ahead until Phil, running out of talent, ploughed straight into the bales at the corner before the bridge, giving Gary a comfortable lead for the rest of the race to win the gp 4 trophy.
See photos and watch some great footage of the action on You Tube, Facebook or the Red Bull site.
Thanks to Red Bull for supporting and helping to promote our sport. Thanks to all those who took part, and well done to the trophy winners.
Gp 2: Graham Tibbenham.
Gp 3: Dean Fuller.
Gp 4: Gary Botting.
Gp 3: Michaela Nott
Gp 4: Kevin Bradford
British Championship Standings end of 05/05/2019:
1st on 83 pts: Graham Tibbenham
2nd 79 pts: Mike Cresswell
3rd 73 pts: Paul Johnson
1st on 67pts: Sean Tanswell
2nd 63pts: Stuart Johnson
3rd 45pts: Peter Sque
1st on 93pts: Gary Botting
2nd 70pts: Carl Andrews
3rd 69pts: Dan Godden
British Championship Standings end of 19/05/2019:
1st on 166 pts: Graham Tibbenham
2nd 165 pts: Mike Cresswell
3rd 73 pts: Paul Johnson
1st on 150pts: Dean Fulller
2nd 105pts: Sean Tanswell
3rd 104pts: Ross Challinor
1st on 159pts: Gary Botting
2nd 133pts: Dan Godden
3rd 113pts: Carl Andrews
Reservoir Dip Weekend Results:
1st Graham Tibbenham
2nd Mike Cresswell
3rd Reg Funnell
1st Sean Tanswell
2nd Dean Fuller
3rd Les Pantry
1st Gary Botting
2nd Carl Andrews
3rd Dan Godden
Capel Weekend Results:
1st Graham Tibbenham
2nd Mike Cresswell
3rd Paul Johnson
1st Dean Fuller
2nd Peter Ayres
3rd Peter Sque
1st Gary Botting
2nd Dan Godden
3rd Darren Tebbut