A couple of Barooga racers have proved they are a cut above the rest after taking out third place in a national championship last month.
Amber and Ned Elliot showed they’ve got what it takes against the rest of the country, after earning a podium finish at the 2017 Australian Ride-On Lawnmower Championships in Griffith on June 10 and 11.
More than 70 people from across Australia competed, including from as far as the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Nowra, Ipswich, Bundaberg and central Queensland.
Ned and Amber raced in the juniors, or under-16 category, which is restricted to 100cc engines.
‘‘Ned and I raced as a team because we were sharing one mower, so we entered as Team Elliot,’’ Amber said.
They competed in eight races, Amber completing four and Ned completing four, before making it into the final round.
‘‘Ned and I had a special card to go out for the grid, because we were a team,’’ Amber said.
‘‘They looked at all of our times for the final and I was just a little bit faster, so I got to race in the final.
‘‘I spun out twice at the start of the race because there was water on the track, but I managed to come back up to third place.’’
In the end, Team Elliot was only one point off second, and three from first place in their junior category.
Both Amber and Ned won a couple of their races and snagged a few second and third placings as well during the heats.
‘‘It was great teamwork from me and Ned, and we’ve got to thank our pit crew, Dad and Mum,’’ Amber said.
‘‘It was definitely a family effort.’’
Amber said the hard-packed clay track was different to the grassed areas they usually raced on in competition, and it was good to race on different tracks in different locations.
They competed against differently-configured mowers and raced against a number of competitors they wouldn’t normally face on their usual circuit.
The mowers have been returned to the shed for a few months’ rest before the association begins its annual round of competition later in the year.
However, the Elliot family is already planning a return to Griffith to defend the title, and dad Stuart is also hoping to enter a mower next year, after winning the championship previously.
‘‘I definitely want to go back, I do like racing against the boys, it’s quite fun,’’ Amber said.
‘‘Especially when you beat them, it feels really good.’’