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Honda's Mean Mower runs 130kph at Spa

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IOL mot pic apr30 Mean Mower Spa 1

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And it can still mow the lawn, as WTCC driver Tiago Monteiro demonstrates. Picture: Jeroen Peeters

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium - They say you shouldn't mow the lawn when it's wet - but a circuit still damp following a heavy storm didn't stop World Touring Car championship driver Tiago Monteiro from swopping the relative comfort of his Honda Civic WTCC for something a bit more horticultural - the works Honda Mean Mower.

Wet track or not, the former Formula One driver managed to get the 1000cc, 80kW lawnmower up to 130km/h as he approached the legendary 'Eau Rouge' corner and hill climb at Spa-Francorchamps.

Keen to see how the Mean Mower does the job it was originally built to do, Monteiro warmed up for his test drive on the track by mowing some grass around the circuit, finishing up with a few doughnuts for the spectators.

He commented afterwards: "I've competed at Spa in many types of cars but this was something different!

"It's fast, very fast, and quite sensitive, making it difficult to drive at high speed. With such huge power and acceleration you need a lot of concentration to take on the Eau Rouge, particularly when the circuit is so wet."

MOWING DOWN THE OLD RECORD

IOL mot pic apr30 Mean Mower Spa 2

Arguably the fastest lap yet of Spa-Francorchamps by a lawnmower. Picture: Jeroen Peeters

The Mean Mower recently became officially the world's fastest lawnmower, averaging 186.512km/h to better the previous Guinness Book of World Records mark by almost 50km/h on the two-kilometre North Straight at the IDIADA Proving Ground in Tarragona, Spain.

(It's geared for a theoretical top speed of more than 210km/h - imagine what it could do on IOL Motoring's notorious Six-Kay Straight!)

The mower was designed and built in the UK by Honda's British Touring Car championship partner, Team Dynamics.

The team re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground up around an all-new chassis, custom-fabricated from 4130 chrome-molybdenum alloy steel tubing.

A 1000cc V-twin from a Honda VTR Firestorm motorcycle provided motorvation, along with bespoke suspension and wheels from a racing quad.

The resulting vehicle has 96Nm of torque on tap and weighs only 140kg, giving it an estimated 0-100 time of four seconds flat.

And it can still mow the lawn, as Monteiro demonstrates in the video.


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