All revved up and waiting for somewhere to race –Inverell mower mates Brad Hannah, left, Chris Jardine, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Steve Jackson, Brian Ellis, Craig Wilkins and Ridge Wilkins with a run of the mill model mower.
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
A GROUP of Inverell lawn mower racing fans are hoping Santa will deliver a sack full of money to fuel their drive to build a flat dirt track and become the first licensed club in Australia.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has taken the wheel on a spin of the club’s proposed race track and has backed a funding application for the club to get up and running for competition racing.
The Inverell Mower Sports Club hopes it will have $18,000 from a State Government program later this month to convert an old go-kart on the Ashford Rd at Inverell into the first 330metre lawn mower track to be licensed in the country.
Mr Marshall is waiting on approval from the Community Building Partnership program from the State Government and says funding would give the club a huge boost – but also give it a status to attract inter-regional and interstate competitors and events.
“They’re all revved up and waiting to race so hopefully we will have some good news before the Christmas break so they can get started on the track work,” Mr Marshall said today.
Club founder Steve Jackson says the funds will help it put a dirt surface over the old gravel and oil surface and do up the pit and spectator areas with safety fences, better access and more amenities.
“I’ve been praying every night that these funds will come through because this is a real friendship and family-driven sport; and once we get that surface done, we will be able to get a licence to race,” Mr Jackson said.
The licence will come through affiliation to the National Dirt Racing Association and will meet sporting and police standards. The club was formed about four years ago and now boasts about 20 members, all mad keen to match their mower models with mates on a dedicated race track.
“They’ve had working bees to make it into a real mower racing track, it will be a 330metre round track with a dog leg on the back straight, which makes for some interesting manoeuvres, especially since they can also start off going clockwise or anti-clockwise, but it will be a blueprint for mower racing tracks all over,” Mr Marshall said.
“The mowers are basically your regulation backyard model, they can run 30horse power motors only and they have to look at least 75 per cent like the weekend lawn variety.
“But they can get up to about 70km an hour – which is a bit faster than what your everyday house machine will do unless it’s geared up, so it’s a bit like a hot rod mower.
“Hopefully, the funding will come through in the next two weeks so the club can get its surface done and start running some Test N Tune days – and run a big race weekend in Easter.”