Page last updated at 06:55 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 07:55 UK

Lawnmower breaks speed record twice in Carmarthenshire


The lawnmower speeds into the record books

A British lawnmower has cut the world land speed record twice in a weekend, with a new top speed of almost 88 mph.

Rider Don Wales took the petrol-driven mower into the record books at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire.

The previous lawnmower land speed record was 80.792mph (130.022km/h), set in the United States in 2006.

Mr Wales and his team first broke that record on Saturday before a second successful attempt with their Oxfordshire-made machine the next day.

On Saturday the team set a new record of 86.069 mph. On Sunday they went faster, reaching 87.833 mph (141.353) km/h.

The team said they ran out of time and were disappointed not to have managed 100 mph, but they were delighted overall to have set a new record.

Measured mile

In order to bid for the record on a lawnmower participants must drive over a measured mile in one direction and return within an hour.

Any of the motorised grass cutters taking part must also be built primarily from lawnmower parts.

Mr Wales' grandfather was Sir Malcolm Campbell, who broke the world land speed record - in a car - at the same venue in 1924.

The record attempt, named Project RunningBlade, has been led by the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

Mr Wales' team has been working with Countax Ltd, based at Great Haseley, near Thame, on the high-spec machine, which includes parts from three different Countax mowers.

According to Guinness World Records' rules, it must still be able to cut grass after all the modifications.

American Bobby Cleveland set the previous land speed record on a lawnmower at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, in 2006 and was present at the weekend's runs in Carmarthenshire.

Mr Cleveland said: "We really had a good time doing that... not that it wasn't scary".

The world speed attempt also raised funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London and Wessex Heartbeat.

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