Roaring Engines & Cut Grass As Castle Howard Hosts Mower Grand Prix

By David Prudames | 06 June 2005
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Photo shows two very brave people skidding their souped-up grass cutters into a bend. Both are wearing colourful overalls and crash helmets

Courtesy the North West Lawn Mower Racing Association.

The smell of oil, the roar of the engines, the thrill of drivers risking life and limb to push themselves and their machines to new levels of performance and speed… motor racing is among the world’s most glamorous sporting contests.

For some it’s about the endeavour of a Stirling Moss, while for others it’s the dash of a James Hunt, or the icy cool competitiveness of a Michael Schumacher. However, for a select few it’s about something a little more down to earth; maintaining a neat lawn.

The North West Lawn Mower Racing Association Championship and Grand Prix is coming to Castle Howard on Father’s Day: June 19 2005.

Their Formula 1 counterparts will, this weekend, be hurtling around the Montreal circuit at speeds of up to 224 mph, but for one day at one of the UK’s grandest stately homes it’ll be all about man, machine and… well… grass.

"It will be great fun to watch the drivers hurtle around the field," said Castle Howard’s Head Gardener Brian Deighton. "I just hope it doesn’t give the gardens team any ideas for next time they are out mowing the 50 acres of lawn to keep tidy."

The really rather stately Castle Howard is usually more gallery than grand prix but for one weekend the circus is rolling into town!

On the day it won’t just be the heavyweights vying to take the chequered flag. As part of a whole programme of alternative racing, lining up on the Castle Howard grid will be lurchers, terriers, ferrets and (I kid you not) snails.

But of course the main attraction will be the fierce competitors lining up to pit their wheels and blades in the 2005 NWLMRA Championship and Grand Prix.

If you’ll be so good as to put images of your tatty Flymo aside, this is a serious contest. Such machines as rollers (that, for the uninitiated, is a mower travelling on rollers or two wheels with the driver towed behind), the increasingly popular garden tractor and even the Westwood Lawn Bug will be tuned to perfection and ready tear up the grass.

The racing will begin at noon and continue throughout the afternoon with points amassed counting towards the Championship and the number of laps achieved by drivers counting towards the Grand Prix title.

So, if you’re unsure as to what to get dad this year, you know what to do.

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