Welcome to 2016.
Four months of this year have already gone, but finally our racing season is about to begin.
While some members have been busy in sheds, garages and even inside their house fettling their mowers, the committee has also been very active.
The AGM in January was well supported. It was here when the introduction of the new LM class was announced, along with any new/ altered rules and regs for this year.
Simon Funnell ( media), Colin Clegg and Dean fuller ( both IT), all stood down from the committee after each serving long terms, although all 3 of them are continuing their roles outside of the committee.
Karl Selby and Simon Campbell have been voted onto the current committee.
Stuart Johnson and Paul Quickenden have been voted onto the technical committee.
The LM class is a new class aimed at attracting new members into the sport. The rules are minimal allowing a mower to be build quickly and easily. Basically, they will be an ordinary garden mower/tractor with the governor disconnected and the pulley ratios altered. They will still have to comply with all current safety rules,
Simon Funnell has agreed to take on the task of organising the 12hour and Mark Thurston is head of technical.
The IT team have been upgrading the website, and although there have been a few bugs it will make it easier to run this unseen but very necessary side of the club.
Technical team have dynoed the Loncin GX 390 engine and found that it is suitable as another alternative engine providing the original exhaust and manifold are retained; the Honda GX390 still needs to be tested.The gp 4 footplate rule has been altered slightly. This has been added as an amendment to the electronic version of the handbook. Any updates will be accompanied by an email, so that all members are aware of any changes.
The 2016 handbook is now available as a free download. The hard copy and club membership cards will be handed out at race meetings. Any additions to the handbook during the year will be added to the downloadable version only.
The new race calendar is now complete and is available to view online. Thanks to Pugs and Mark R.
This year Simon Campbell will be making short video interviews at several race meetings as a record of our events and putting them onto the website.
The 12 hour committee have already met twice in readiness for this years 12 hour on 6/7th August.
Many of you will remember Mark and Ruth Jaffe. A few years ago he set up his own business Phoenix Motorcycle Training.
It is a real boost to us to have a main sponsor so early in the year. It takes a lot of money and a lot of effort to put the 12 hour event on and to have a main sponsor behind us is very comforting. So, a huge "Thank You" to Mark and his company.
The Americans are celebrating their 25 years of lawn mower racing next year, and have invited our club to attend as Jim and co were instrumental in helping to start the club up. The last time the club went over was at their 10th year in racing and the guys who went beat them hollow. Certain tactics were involved. Enough said. Pete Hammerton is in the process of organising the return trip. It will be open to 5/6 mowers. If you are interested, let us know.
The dates for the 2017 US trip will be around the weekend of July 29th/30th and the 2017, 12 hour will be on the weekend of August 12th/13th.
Pete also organised the annual War Trip to NW Germany which was a great success. They visited a resistance Hidden Village, a type 21 U-boat, The German Tank Museum, Belsen Concentration Camp & the 'Valentin' U-boat Bunker / Factory + loads of other German Concrete! 10 people went in 3 cars and returned a profit for the club of £17.32 after all expenses.
Please contact PH if you are interested in coming on the next one. Apart from the historical visits, it's a good laugh as well.
The race control tent and the 12 hour store tent have been replaced and both will be used for the first time at Capel. Pete H is painting the pole ends to make it easier to erect them.
The trailer has been serviced ready for the new season.
On the " to do " list include
Purchase more quill flags and rope.
We used to bales to mark out the race track. They were strong enough to stop a runaway mower and they just looked right. Nowadays, bales are becoming difficult to source and dispose of after racing. We are therefore looking for a viable alternative. This weekend we will be using the plastic Lego blocks, which are heavy, difficult to transport and hard when hit ( not that we hit them that often !!! ). Therefore we are looking to find a suitable replacement, something that can be easily transported from meeting to meeting. If you have any suggestions, tell us.
Lastly, thank you all for being members of this club. If there are things you feel would benefit from being changed or see ways to improve the way we do things, then please let us know.
In the meantime, have a great bank holiday weekend and enjoy your racing.