Project Runningblade – Click above for high-res image gallery
There are some people who would tell you that Formula 1 is the pinnacle of four-wheeled motorsports. Those of us in the know, however, have other ideas. Clearly, F1 ain't got nothin' on a well-tuned John Deer. That's right, we're talking about the competitive world of lawnmower racing.
For those who don't know, American Bob Cleveland currently holds the record for the World's Fastest Lawnmower, which was set at 80.7929 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2006. If Don Wales of the UK has anything to say about it, though, that record will fall by May 23rd as Project Runningblade takes a crack at 100 mph.
In case you were wondering, Runningblade is powered by a Kawasaki V-twin engine that is in fact designed for lawnmower duty and can indeed cut grass... at 100 miles per hour. If I had had that at my disposal when living as a teenager in Ohio, perhaps cutting the back 40 wouldn't have been so bad after all.
See our high-res image gallery below and check out the video pasted after the break. There, you'll also find a press release from Toyota touting the use of its diesel-powered Hilux pickup as the transportation and support vehicle for the project.
TOYOTA'S MIGHTY HILUX AIDS LAWN MOWER WORLD LAND SPEED RECORD ATTEMPT
Toyota's legendary pick-up, crowned indestructible by BBC's Top Gear, and present at the recent eruption of Iceland's Eyjafallajökull volcano, is supporting Project Runningblade, the British attempt on the world land speed record for a lawn mower on 22–23 May 2010 at Pendine Sands, South Wales.
The purpose of the project is to build a conventional lawn mower, still capable of cutting grass, but adapt it to drive at speeds reaching 100mph. Driven by Don Wales, nephew of Donald Campbell, the aim is an attempt to smash a previous 80.7929 mph record, set by Bob Cleveland at Bonneville Salt Flats, USA, in 2006.
The team has been using a 3.0-litre D-4D Double Cab Toyota Hilux as their key support vehicle throughout the project, transporting the 'super mower' to the final event at Pendine Sands.
"We are enormously impressed with the Hilux's performance," says Stephen Vokins, Team Principal and leader of the project.
"The four-wheel drive capability and the load space have also been extremely useful to the team, and the Hilux regularly transports the mower to shows around the country in the build-up to the record attempt."
In addition to claiming the record for Britain, the project also aims to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Wessex Heart Beat. For more information of how you can donate to the project, please visit www.projectrunningblade.co.uk.