On May 7th 2019, Team Dynamics and Honda secured the Guinness World Records (GWR) title for the fastest acceleration from 0-100mph for a lawnmower (prototype).
The attempt, which was achieved with their Mean Mower V2, driven by stunt driver, Jessica Hawkins, gained a wealth of press coverage all around the world.
The record now has pride of place in the Guinness World Records 2021 book and is also showcased on our new illustrated book cover, created by artist, Rod Hunt. We spoke to James Rodgers, Team Manager at Team Dynamics, to find out more about the attempt.
Congratulations on making it into the Guinness World Records 2021 Book - what was the original objective for coordinating the record attempt?
The attempt was coordinated to showcase the superior engineering capabilities of Honda’s products.
As part of a similar campaign in 2014, we achieved our first record title for the fastest lawnmower with our Mean Mower.
In 2019, we wanted to build on Honda’s credentials even further by challenging ourselves to beat the record again with the new and improved Mean Mower V2.
There must have been lots of work behind the scenes? Can you tell us more about the production of the Mean Mower V2?
Part of the GWR guidelines were that we had to ensure that the mower had grass-cutting capabilities and still looked like a functional lawnmower.
We also had to ensure that the prototype reflected Honda’s engineering in the best way possible.
To achieve the final result, we used as many Honda parts as possible, taking several components from Honda’s Fireblade Motorbike as well as the cutting deck from Honda’s electric lawnmower range.
We also used computer-aided design, bespoke parts such as the engine and wheels – as well as 3D printing to create the final record-breaking machine.
Talk us through the day of the record attempt
There was a huge amount of adrenaline and we knew, as with all attempts of this nature, that there would be a few glitches on the day.
We did all that we could to prepare with 14 members of staff on the ground, including film crews - all of whom worked behind the scenes to ensure that everything went smoothly.
The location of the racetrack in Dekra Lausitzring, Germany was quite rural so we had to be really prepared.
We took as many spare parts as possible to the site, loading up a huge articulated lorry with equipment.
The truck was also used to house a portable office and to transport the lawnmower to the site.
There really was a mixture of excitement and relief when we reached the top speed of 150.99 mph in just 6.29 seconds, smashing the previous record.
What was it working with Jessica Hawkins?
We have worked with Jess lots of times over the years - she is a true professional racer and stunt driver and really is great at what she does.
Jess was a natural fit for this attempt – the headrest is quite low on the Mean Mower V2 and there is not a huge amount of leg room, so it suited her small height and frame.
What was the media reaction to your record-breaking achievement like?
When we announced that we had achieved the Guinness World Records title, the attempt went viral, being picked up by news sites and outlets all around the world.
I was even flown over to LA to appear on the Jay Leno show.
It is quite a quirky title, so it was also liked and shared on lots of social media sites too.
We are now working with a production company to create a 60-minute documentary about the attempt which will air in the near future.
What was the reaction at Honda HQ and where has the famous GWR certificate been placed?
Securing a Guinness World Records title is certainly not something that happens every day, so the reaction internally was really positive.
At both Honda and Team Dynamics, we have placed our certificates on our office walls for all to see and it is definitely a day that we won’t forget.
Hopefully, there will be another opportunity to schedule a Guinness World Records attempt again in the future.