The world speed record for lawnmowers is currently 80mph, but Project Runningblade, launched at the UK’s Beaulieu National Motor Museum this week aims to raise it to more than 100mph using a highly-modified Countax-based machine. At that clip, it could cut an entire soccer pitch in 2 minutes and 42 seconds not to mention setting world records for both speed and eccentricity.
The project is headed by Stephen Vokins, who has worked at Beaulieu for 27 years, and has something of an appetite for the eccentric. “I saw a video of American, Bob Cleveland on YouTube setting the record for lawnmowers at an impressive 80.792mph on Bonneville Salt Flats,” he said, “and I was greatly impressed, but felt with the right team, 100mph should be possible.”
Project Runningblade officially took the covers off its land speed record attempt machine on Tuesday.
Finding sponsors for the project was not easy, but the team were especially pleased to enjoy the support and sponsorship offered by Beaulieu, which has been instrumental in allowing the whole project to grow. “Beaulieu is home to an unrivaled collection of Land Speed Record material,” says Beaulieu’s Managing Director, Russell Bowman, “so when Stephen came to us with his idea, we were keen to offer it all the support we could. We’ve even reserved a place for the machine next to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 1925 Bluebird, which was driven by the team’s driver’s grandfather on the very same beach that Project Runningblade will go for their own record.”
In order for it to qualify as a lawnmower in the Guinness World of Records, the regulations state that it has to be a proper lawnmower, built by a recognized lawnmower manufacturer, using predominantly lawnmower components, and it has to cut grass on the day of the record, although not whilst it is going for the record.