Team Eliott tears up the track

By Patrick Tansey

It may not be the most conventional of sports, but it sure looks fun.

The Eliott family from Barooga is firmly entrenched in the unusual motor sport of ride-on lawn mower racing, travelling the region and competing in the Australian Ride On Lawn Mower Racing Association events.

Stuart Eliott first watched a race eight years ago and was instantly hooked, deciding to build his own mower as they cannot be bought.

His children — Ned and Amber — have become involved in the past two years.

Eliott said the sport continued to grow each year.

‘‘It’s become really popular, there’s a lot more people building mowers and I reckon participation would have easily doubled when I first started eight years ago,’’ he said.

First up on the association schedule this year was the Deni Ute Muster on September 28 to 29, which celebrated 20 years and saw 20000 people pass through the gates.

The first round of the championship series saw more than 30 mowers and drivers representing the association from various parts of Victoria and NSW take part.

Eliott said it was a big weekend for his family at Deniliquin.

‘‘Our local family race team, Team Eliott, had a cracker of a weekend with the youngest racer in the 110cc junior class, Ned, 11, placing second outright,’’ he said.

‘‘One of few girls racing was Amber, 14, who drove very consistently all weekend to finish third outright to beat most of the boys.’’

Eliott, who races A-class up to 450cc drove solidly all weekend, finishing third outright.

There is little doubt Team Eliott helped put Cobram-Barooga on the map with a lot of interest from spectators.