Life’s a grass

Tony Dwight (left) with Darren Whitehead

Tony Dwight (left) with Darren Whitehead

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HE won’t get much grass cut, but Wigan dad Tony Dwight is hoping to speed into the record books on his lawn mower.

The Aspull lorry driver is swapping his customary HGV in a bid to be the first man to drive from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a mower.

He and Stoke pal Darren Whitehead – both members of the North West Lawn Mower Racing Association (NWLMRA) – have registered their vehicles for the road for the five-day 1,100 mile trip.

And while the most direct route is a mere 900 miles, Tony and Darren will be confining themselves to a quieter route in a bid to avoid heavy traffic. The penalty is an extra 200 miles.

But that doesn’t mean that they go at a snail’s pace. Tony, vice-chariman of the NWLMRA, says the souped-up vehicles regularly reach speeds of 60mph on the track, although for their road journey they will be going at a more restrained 25mph.

If they complete the route, they will secure the maximum amount of sponsorship money for their two nominated causes: Help For Heroes (Tony used to be in an RAF regiment) and Cancer Research (Darren lost his mum to the disease).

Tony, a 38-year-old dad of two, said: “I have always been mad about motorsport.

“We race all over the country and when you get behind the wheel it can get very competitive. Everybody is best friends but as in any form of competitive sport as soon as the light goes green it’s every man for himself, whether it be Scalextric or Formula One.

“About 12 months ago I was sitting watching TV with my wife and I said ‘I really need an adventure’. We had just watched Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor going The Long Way Down on their motorbikes from John O’Groats to Cape Town.

“In a vision of clarity I thought we could do it on our mowers!”

The ride is scheduled to begin in the north of Scotland on August 6 with the mowers coming into Wigan two days later along the A49.

For progress and updates, readers can follow the pair’s adventure by searching for the Lawn Way Down on Facebook and make a donation via www.justgiving.com