Good fun: mower racing comes to town

Craig Bratton flat out on track. Photo supplied.
Craig Bratton flat out on track. Photo supplied.

The Forbes auto sports club track this Sunday hosts the Australian Lawn Mower Racing Association, with several local members taking to the track.

Craig Bratton, who's been racing mowers for about five years, is looking forward to bringing the sport back before a home crowd.

"It'll be something different for everyone," he told the Advocate. "It's pretty good fun."

Bratton is one of a handful of Forbes members of the Australian Ride-On Lawn Mower Racing Association, which is why they're bringing this race day in their series to Forbes.

Bratton, along with other locals, routinely travels around to other tracks to compete and accumulate points toward annual competition.

Bratton races a Greenfield mower which now has a CBR 300 motor in it, and he says the sport is an affordable one if you're able to do the work on a retired mower yourself.

Most of the mowers are powered by motorbike engines.

Forbes is the last chance for riders to get some track time in before the national title in Yamba so high interest is anticipated, although this weekend's numbers will be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions.

Modified lawn mower racing is popular in both Queensland and Victoria, and Forbes is central for many of the competitors.

Spectators are encouraged to come along and watch the action, with the chance to speak to the drivers and check out their mowers in the break.

Bratton is one of those who's been working on the Forbes track - at the Forbes Auto Sports facility at Daroobalgie and with their support - and he reckons it'll provide a good day's racing.

They've used part of the dirt track to create something that's going to suit the mowers.

"It's a pretty fast, flowing track," Bratton anticipates.

That's as long as the weather dries out as is forecast.

Racing is graded based on both driver ability and the engine capacity, with competition categories starting from the juniors.

Bratton expects five classes of competition on Sunday, with heats in each to be followed by finals.

Competition is open to junior and it's anticipated they will take the track on Sunday, it's a real family sport.

Craig Bourke tearing up the track with his modified mower at Bedgerabong Show two years.

Craig Bourke tearing up the track with his modified mower at Bedgerabong Show two years.

What's on

Date: Sunday 13 June 2021

Time: Gates open 9.30am, racing from 10.30am

Where: Forbes Auto Sports Club, Hoopers Rd, Daroobalgie

Cost: Gate entry $5 per adult and children under 16 free

Food: There's a full canteen available all day.

You can find out more about modified mower racing and the organisation online at https://www.arolmra.net/ or the riders would love to share their knowledge at the Daroobalgie track on Sunday.