It might not quite be Le Mans, but the grass is always greener at the highlight of the lawn mower racing season – a 12-hour overnight endurance race. The race was staged over the weekend of 8-9 August in Five Oaks, West Sussex.
A total of 37 teams took part in the race that gets faster and more sophisticated by the year, with the winners the wittily named Northerners Kick Grass.
"I think the 12 hour's so special because it's an overnight race, which is difficult," said course official Peter Longley.
"This time of day fine, no problem at all, anybody can do it, you get to four four o'clock in the morning and you go - I've got another four hours to do and you've got to keep pushing!"
The unusual activity was born out of a meeting of enthusiastic motor-sport fans in a pub back in 1973. They wanted a sport that would be competitive, fun - and above all, cheap.
Lawn mower racing enthusiast Colin "Chubby" Fox explained that there is much more than just having a go in this eccentric sport.
"There's an awful lot of skills, an awful lot of preparation, the reality is it's about preparation, it's about a team of three decent drivers but you have to make sure you've got a rhythm going for all three drivers, if you've got one slow guy, it's not really going to cut it, it's going to lose you a lot of time. On the other hand, you have to pace yourself, so you want three quick drivers who can drive steady but not over their limits and that's the safe way to try and get a win."
For obvious safety reasons, all the blades are removed and only minor modifications are allowed on the noisy machines. As dusk turned to night, the pit lane became a hive of activity as mowers came in for refuelling, driver changeover, cleaning and repairs.
After going around the 1.4km course through night and day, Northerners Kick Grass completed 403 laps as brothers Mark and Andy Rostron shared victory with veteran racer Darren "Daz" Whitehead.
"It was really really hard work, we had a great team of people helping us out all night," Whitehead said
"Absolutely awesome to win this race, three years in a row, it's a hell of an achievement, to win it once is difficult enough but to be able to do it back to back to back and set a distance record, absolutely amazing, over the moon." he added.
The winning team set a new distance record for the race. They started in pole position and led from the start, completing approximately 506km in the allotted 12 hours.