Honda Mean Mower at Spa Francorchamps
Former Formula One driver, Tiago Monteiro, has taken to the legendary ‘Eau Rouge’ corner and hillclimb at Spa Francorchamps on the world’s fastest lawnmower – the Honda Mean Mower.
LAST WEEK, FOLLOWING A HEAVY DOWNPOUR at Eau Rouge, the former Formula 1 driver and current Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team racing driver, Tiago Montiero, managed to take Honda’s 80kW ‘Mean Mower’ up to 128km/h as he approached the iconic bend. Before that, Montiero put his ‘mower’ through its paces by, er, mowing some of the grass on the way to the track – world’s most practical racing, er, thing?
Montiero seemed to enjoy the challenge: “I’ve competed at Spa in many different cars but this was a little bit different! It’s fast, very fast, and quite sensitive, making it difficult to drive at pace. With such huge power and acceleration you need a lot of concentration to take on the Eau Rouge, particularly on such a wet track.”
The Honda Mean Mower recently became officially the world’s fastest lawnmower, averaging 187.61km/h to break the previous GUINNESS WORLDs title by almost 48km/h. The successful attempt took place under the watchful eye of a Guiness World Records adjudicator on the North Straight at the IDIADA Proving Ground in Tarragona, Spain, on Saturday 8th March 2014, eclipsing the previous record of 140km/h.
The idea behind Mean Mower, says Honda, was to demonstrate the company’s spirit of innovation, its motor sport heritage, and that it makes more than just cars. Mean Mower was designed and built in the UK by Honda’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) partner, Team Dynamics. The team re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground-up, adding an all-new fabricated chassis, custom-made from 4130 chromoly, to provide a strong, safe but very light platform. An 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm motorbike was used, along with a bespoke suspension and wheels from a racing ATV.
The result of this remarkable feat of engineering is a lawnmower set-up and geared to achieve a top speed in excess of 208km/h, weighing just 140kg, producing 96Nm of torque, and an estimated 0-96km/h of just four seconds.