Hints & Tips
With the Formula 1 season upon us, many of us will be hoping to see Brits Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button put in a strong showing.
While most of us will never be able to emulate their success, there is one field in which we might stand a chance of displaying our sporting prowess: lawnmower racing.
Yes, that's right – lawnmower racing. It might seem like a bonkers idea, but for many enthusiasts this is a (semi)-serious business.
The British Lawnmower Racing Association (BLMRA) holds events every year and has gone from strength to strength after it was formed in The Cricketers Arms pub in Wisborough Green way back in 1973.
If you fancy taking part, you can apply online via their website and you'll receive a Handbook, Cuttings (the BLMRA's newsletter) and a membership card.
Once you've familiarised yourself with the rules and other essential information, you can select one of four groups to race in.
And let's not forget the most important bit – your vehicle. You'll have to find yourself a mower and get it homologated, ensuring it meets the criteria for racing. It will need to be inspected before it's altered to have any modifications approved by the BLMRA.
Once you've got the seal of approval, you'll be able to design your racer (blades are removed for safety). You'll also need suitable clothing and a helmet.
Events can be entered on the BLMRA website, which has a 2014 calendar beginning in June.
And if you think racing lawnmowers is boring compared with F1 motorsports, think again. The Honda Mean Mower, driven by Top Gear magazine's Piers Ward, has just entered the Guinness Book of Records after reaching a speed of 116 mph.
It is powered by a 1,000 cc engine and can do 0-60 in just four seconds.
Imagine using that to mow your lawn – you'd be finished in no time.
So if you fancy yourself as the Sebastian Vettel of the lawnmower world, now you know where to start!