Wacky Races – Part 1
Throughout the history of motorsports, we’ve seen all sorts of vehicles used to compete in order to answer that timeless question, who is the fastest? We’ve seen cars, bikes, boats and even planes compete in one way or another. But surely that can’t be it? Surely there are more bizarre and interesting competitions to be had? Well look no further my friend because here we’re going to take a look at some of the most obscure races you can see today.
Lawn Mower Racing
To be honest I don’t think I know anyone who wouldn’t want to have a go on a ride-on mower, let alone race one. So, it’s no surprise then that lawn mower racing has taken off and has people competing for titles all over the world. The oldest known organised event for this adrenaline fuelled competition is the ‘Twelve Mile 500’ held in a town named Twelve Mile in the State of Indiana. The tradition began in 1963 and is held annually every Independence Day. Whether through news or just coincidence the sport began popping up in other countries like Great Britain and Australia as well as other States in the USA; North Carolina, Missouri and New Mexico also each have their own competition. Of course, for safety reasons the blades are removed though all else is retained. If you dream to take part but can’t see yourself reaching the starting line don’t dismay, in 2006 a video game of the sport was released for PC and Xbox titled Lawnmower Racing Mania 2007. It’s officially licensed by the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association so you can expect a certain degree of quality here.
24 Hours of LeMons
No, I haven’t spelt that wrong. The race known as 24 Hours of LeMons is a parody of the now infamous race of a similar name (Le Mans) which has reached great success, even achieving a Guinness World Record for “Most Participants in one Race” with an impressive 216 cars. The idea is that in order to enter you need to have a car that cost no more than $500, though that’s only the start. The race holds a series of ridiculous (and hilarious) rules that are intended solely to make the event more entertaining. The best example of this is perhaps the ‘wheel of misfortune’ which serves as a penalty device when punishment must be doled out. This can include anything from having silhouetted metal barnyard animals welded to the roof of a car to decrease its aerodynamics to having to apply white face paint, a beret and a striped shirt in order to “mime your crime” to the audience of the event. The trophies given out are just as amusing. The ‘Win on Laps’ trophy is given to whoever wins their category and is awarded $1500, in the form of nickels. Though this would seem to be the ultimate reward the most coveted trophy is in fact the ‘Index of Effluency’ award which is given to the car that is unlikely to finish the race, let alone place in it. For this the driver is rewarded $1501, that’s $1 more than any of the race winners.