Stuart Eliott claims lawn mower racing crown

By Cobram Courier

A Barooga family had a red-hot weekend of racing at the All Australia Ride On Lawn Mower Racing Championships held in Lemnos recently.

Stuart Eliott, his daughter, Amber, 15, and son, Ned, 11, competed in the event, which featured 90 entrants from across the country.

Heavy rain on the Thursday saw a wash out on the Friday, but a determined committee was able to make the track raceworthy for the Saturday’s qualifying session.

Each racer went for two hot laps to determine class and grid position.

Stuart qualified sixth fastest in qualifying putting him in A class. Amber qualified as the fastest girl, qualifying near the pointy end of the B class, while Ned did not have to qualify in the junior class as grid positions were determined by a peg draw.

There was six heats before the main final race.

Stuart, driving his Barooga Bullet 2 mower, won all seven of his starts to be crowned Australia A class Champion — 10 years after he first claimed the title in Dubbo.

Amber, on her Barooga Chick Mower, finished outright fourth in B class, a tremendous effort considering her machine is a 200cc motor, while she was up against mowers with double the engine capacity.

Ned, on his Barooga Junior Bullet mower, had a mixed bag of wins and places across the weekend, including a second place finish in the junior class final.

‘‘I had a great drive, to back up my title from 2009 is unbelievable,’’ Stuart said.

‘‘Amber drove her wheels off, to finish where she did in B class is a huge effort because she usually races in C class.

‘‘Her driving skills are increasing ever race.

The community-oriented event also showed its support for Give Me 5 for Kids with some of the revenue from the weekend going to the charity which supports sick children and their families in times of need.