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Miller’s modified mower move

Scott Miller on his highly modified racing mower. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Last race a highlight


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Driving a 3000-horsepower dragster has nothing on driving a 100-horsepower lawnmower.

That’s according to Masterton mechanic Scott Miller, who is swapping the straight line of the Masterton Motorplex for the tight twisty track of the annual Eketahuna Lawn Mowing Races tomorrow.

In fact, Miller reckoned the thought of driving his highly modified lawnmower is more terrifying than powering his rail dragster down the quarter mile.

“I’ve done a 6.8 second run at 310kmh [194mph] and going from 3000hp to 100hp doesn’t sound scary but I’m more nervous about jumping on the lawnmower,” he said.

“For the weight and size of it, it’s got quite a bit of power, a lot of horsepower, it sits very low to the ground and can get up to 120kmh. It’s not just going in a straight line. I have to steer it round some tight corners.”

The 33-year-old got hooked on lawnmower racing after competing in the Eketahuna event last year.

“I did a 45-second lap on a single cylinder mower, which had been modified a bit, and I came away with the award for the day’s slowest mower. That got me fired up to do something better.”

Miller has imported all the internal engine parts for his highly modified Yard-Man from the United States and has been able to work on it during his job at Rayze workshop, but he is unsure how the lawnmower will go.

“It doesn’t sound like a lawnmower, a lot of people say that it sounds like a really pissed off Harley Davidson, but it will be fast.”

Miller is also hoping for better luck than the last time he raced his rail dragster.

“I’m still rebuilding it, after a catastrophic engine failure. It was a $30,000 engine blow up.”

Miller is one of several exponents from other forms of motorsport taking on the Eketahuna track tomorrow.

Eketahuna Lawn Mowing Racing Club president Alan Gray said it is now the biggest lawnmowing racing event in New Zealand and has attracted some experienced racers from as far afield as Taranaki and Bay of Plenty.

“There are a lot of speedway guys giving it a go, like Brady Mudgway, Steve Mudgway and Trevor Stewart,” he said. “It’s the cheapest form of motorsport and they love it.”

Racing is divided into three classes from Class One for the smallest mowers to Class Three for the biggest.

It also features races for women, golden oldies, and for the first time a transport race which will have five trucking firms from Greytown to Pahiatua line up with lawnmowers painted in their company colours.

The last race could be the highlight with all lawnmowers lining up in a blockbuster 25 lapper.

Racing gets under way on the corner of Cliff Road and State Highway 2 at 10.30am.

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