With spring in full swing, the lads from South Wagga Apex are calling all mowers to take their machines off-lawn for the second annual Motor Mania.
Held for the first time on Father’s Day last year, the event was conceived as something like a ”Summernats on lawnmowers”.
“Last year went really, really well and we had close to 2000 people turn up and we’ve had really good feedback,” said Apex member Isaac Kane.
“This year, we’re having more than just mower racing and we really want to make it a full event.
“We’ve got dirt outlaw karts doing a big demonstration – they’re insanely loud and obnoxious – and we’ll have the food vans, a VIP bar and rides for the kids.”
The sport of ride-on lawnmower racing has been steadily building in Australia and ”Arolma’’ (the Australian Ride On Lawnmower Racing Association) has once again added the Wagga event to its race calendar.
The souped-up racing mowers have had the blades and the deck removed and drivers compete in different categories, from factory standard to some with fully replaced motors.
The event will return to the Wagga and District Kart Racing Club, where conditions are expected to be much drier than last year’s mud-splattered track.
“That was part of the reason we’ve pushed it to a bit later in the year,” Isaac said.
“Last year, we had an insanely muddy time and we only got to race on half of the track. This year, the go-kart club’s got a brand new oval track that won’t get closed down halfway through the day.”
South Wagga Apex used to host the famous “Gumi” inflatable-tube race on the Murrumbidgee but has been unable to stage the event since 2019.
“We’ve got really big hopes of bringing the Gumi back,” Issac said with a grin.
“We were going to run it last year and we had really good interest, but the issues with the river and the flooding ruined it for everyone.
“There are a few challenges with the insane insurance costs and also you’re only allowed to do it between certain river heights, so if it’s too high, it’s off. If it’s too low, it’s off and it’s not a very big window.”
As a kind of warm-up for the Gumi’s return, South Wagga Apex hosted a rubber duck race on Australia Day and plans to do it again in 2024.
“You go down on the day, buy a rubber duck, put it in the race and see how you go,” Isaac said.
“I think we had almost 1000 ducks this year and it was a great day.”
Isaac said the Apex lads were looking forward to getting more involved with community and family-oriented events in the year ahead.
“We’re keen to put on community events but to also help out other community events if somebody else is putting something on,” he said.
“We’re happy to go and do barbecues and sit on the gates and all that sort of thing and also just to help people in the community who are in need, with mowing lawns or whatever.
“We want to bring that spirit of Apex back to really serve the community.”
Motor Mania is on Saturday, 4 November, and you can find out more here.