CATSHILL racer Richard Hawksbee had to settle for fifth place at the British Lawn Mower Racing Association (BLMRA) 12 Hour event after a blown engine damaged his chances of going for the title.
Held near Billingshurst in West Sussex, the BLMRA’s flagship event consisted of 48 teams in all, with the race starting at 8pm on Saturday night and ending at 8am on Sunday morning.
Hawksbee teamed up with Phil Jennings and Mark Vernalls on the custom built ‘Dyno-Mow’ lawnmower, with the trio finishing in fifth during qualifying.
A good start by Hawksbee placed the team in second, and briefly took the lead before falling back into third – a position that was consolidated for the first three hours of the race.
But before a push for the leading two racers could be made, the lawnmower, with Jennings on board at the time of the incident, suffered an engine malfunction.
After heading to the pits, the blown engine was replaced with a spare, but the setback left the team in 22nd place. For the remaining nine hours, the trio made an admirable effort to recover and rise through the rankings to finish fifth and just ten laps off the lead.
Best Western, from the West Midlands, were the winning team, earned their first victory at the event after coming close in the previous five years.