Racing Mowers – Rules Overview
Each racing series and chapter has it’s own rules. They can change from series to series. Be sure to confirm with the association’s sanctioning body or local chapter for verification of exact rules. Here we will provide a general overview and give you a few ideas for modifying your racing mowers.
Driver Eligibility - All drivers must be at least 18 years old or older to drive in a lawn mower race or to participate in lawn mower drag racing. In some cases and with their parents’ consent, children as young as 16 years old may be granted permission to race.
Getting a License - For each series, you will be required to obtain a license by registering with the series. You won’t even be allowed on the track until you have a license. Usually, there is a slight fee associated with registering.
Driver’s Meeting - Every driver is required to attend an obligatory driver’s meeting before participating in a lawnmower race. If you do not attend the meeting, your starting place for the race will be at the back of the field. For the most part, the officials conducting the meeting will go over the procedures for the race and restate the purpose of the flags.
Safety - There are many safety requirements for lawn mower races, but here are a few. Participants are mandated to wear protective gear much like that of a motocross rider. You must have on a full-face helmet, including head and neck restraints. You must dismount the racing mowers when refueling. Each racing lawn mower must be outfitted with a tethered kill switch.
Modifications - You can probably imagine that racing mowers’ parts are not always easy to find. You may need to put together parts or adjust stock parts yourself. Below are a few modifications, some of which may be permitted by the sanctioning body:
-The frame can be made more rigid by fusing in additional supports.
-A safety scatter shield must be mounted adjacent to the flywheel. The minimum thickness must be 16 GA.
-Steering can be toughened.
-Mowing blades must be detached.
-Tires and wheels may only be stock.
-Aluminum axles are not allowed.
-Bodies must appear to be stock.
-Steering wheel may not have handlebar grips added to it.
Race Prep - In addition to modifications you want to make for the race, here are a few that will be required in preparation for the race.
-Headlights must be eliminated or taped up.
-Your number must be clearly displayed on all four sides of the racing mowers and must be at least 3 inches tall.
-Chains and sprockets must be protected.
Points System - Most races work from a point system to determine a winner over the course of the series. For example, the USLMRA point system works like this:
1st place: 300 points
2nd place: 250 points
3rd place: 200 points
4th place: 150 points
5th place: 100 points
6th place: 0 points
Flags - Several flags are used in racing mowers. Many of them are used in other types of racing as well. It is important that you understand what they mean.
Green: “Green Means Mow” (or go)
Yellow: Caution on the track; proceed slowly.
Yellow & White: One lap before the green.
Blue Flag with Yellow Stripe: Move over and let the leaders pass.
Red: Danger on the racetrack; stop immediately.
Black: Pull into the pits for a mechanical problem or driving violation.
White: One lap to go.
Checkered: This is the flag everyone wants to see. If you see this flag, race is over, and you have won this racing lawnmower event!
If you have finished in the top five, you will likely be invited to the tech area for a final technical inspection. Even before you race, you may be required to show your racing mowers to the technical inspection team. The inspectors will look for dimensional inconsistencies, prohibited parts, and assure you have the correct safety features on your lawn mower.
JA Fisher is a lawnmower racing enthusiast. Get more information on this topic at http://lawnmowerracingsecrets.com. Check out his lawnmower racing eBook at http://lawnmowerracingsecrets.com.
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