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The Five Most Unusual Motorsports in the World

Written by Ellie Nicholls, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

Image Credits: Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

It’s part of human nature; if something has an engine, we will find a way to race it.


To paraphrase Maverick (Top Gun), we as humans “feel the need for speed”, and many motorsport fans not only want to watch races but also take part in them. So, as conventional motorsport series have become more expensive and inaccessible, people have been inspired to invent increasingly creative and ridiculous forms of motorsport.


Here are five of the most unusual ones.


Lawn Mower Racing:

Started in 1973 by Jim Gavin after a “few pints” in a West Sussex pub, lawn mower racing is one of the cheapest yet most entertaining forms of motorsport around.


Created to be accessible to everyone, the aims of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association remain the same now as they were 50 years ago: no sponsors, no cash prizes and no modification of engines- and any profit that is made from the events is donated to charities and good causes.


There are several motor racing events and championships occur over the year, especially the British Championship and World Championship, as well as the 12-hour endurance race, known as ‘Le Mow’. Some previous winners of Le Mow include Stirling Moss, a Formula-One race winner and Derek Bell, a five-time winner of Le Mans and two-time World Sports Car champion.

Image Credits: Dan Callister/Getty Images

Bar Stool Racing:

As the name suggests, these races involve attaching bar stools to stripped-back go karts, and often take place during St Patrick’s Day. The vehicles have a land speed record of over 45 mph (72 km/h) and are infamous for flipping over at particularly tight turns.


At Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, people are encouraged to take part with their own, homemade vehicles for a small entry fee, but there are also very strict guidelines to reduce the risk of injury.


The concept behind the street luge was created in the 1970s. Inspired by the luge, one of the oldest winter sports, it involves the rider lying down on a long specialised skateboard and riding down a paved road, using only gravity to propel them along.


A powered street luge, however, is one that has been modified to include a power source other than gravity. That source might be an electric motor, a jet, rocket, gas or something else entirely. This results in the motorsport becoming more intense, with record-holder Roland Morrison reaching a speed of 168 mph (270 km/h) in 2012.


Powered Street Luge:

Image Credits: Josep Lago/Getty Images

The concept behind the street luge was created in the 1970s. Inspired by the luge, one of the oldest winter sports, it involves the rider lying down on a long specialised skateboard and riding down a paved road, using only gravity to propel them along.


A powered street luge, however, is one that has been modified to include a power source other than gravity. That source might be an electric motor, a jet, rocket, gas or something else entirely. This results in the motorsport becoming more intense, with record-holder Roland Morrison reaching a speed of 168 mph (270 km/h) in 2012.


Sidecarcross

Image Credits: Ramsey Cardey/Getty Images

Originating as early as the 1930s, Sidecarcross is a branch of Motocross which is held over several rounds across Europe at popular Motocross venues.


It involves two racers per vehicle, with one steering the motorcycle and one riding along in a sidecar. While the sidecar passenger may seem to have a less important role, in reality they must move around the entire race in order to counter the centripetal forces at work.


Radio Car Racing:

Credit - Clive Rose/Getty Images

Radio-controlled (RC) cars are miniature vehicles that are controlled by transmitters or remotes from a distance. Besides that there are multiple classes of vehicle, there are also various power sources, designs and tyre choices available. Some models even include one-way telemetry systems which can prove data on tyre temperature and battery voltage.


While RC cars are most commonly associated with children’s toys, RC racing championships have been held since the 1960s, and hundreds of people join in these races every year- whether that’s building the cars, controlling them or just spectating. Even Esteban Ocon, a Formula One driver, tried his hand at racing an RC car at Suzuka ahead of the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.


With so many unique and out-of-the-ordinary motorsport events already taking place all over the world, what else will people begin to race next? And, in the future, could we see more drivers from popular motorsport series getting involved in these type of races?




1 comment

1 commentaire


Lawn Mower Racing in particular is so cool. Le Mow is such a great event as well!!! although I think everyone is at least slightly intrigued by Bar Stool Racing 😂

Great Article!

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