Keep Rollin‘, Rollin‘, Rollin‘…

Our Top 5: The most bizarre Rally Races in the World

Motorsport and AMG belong together like sun and summer, traffic and horns, engine and oil. We take you to the colorful world of racing and show you its most creative facets. Four wheels, three wheels, one cheese? Find out all about our most bizarre rally races in the world.

Since the dawn of time, competition and triumph have been at the heart of humanity. We simply can't get enough of an adrenaline rush. Sports are one arena in which this most visceral of pleasures is brought to life. Gigantic events such as Formula 1, the Olympic Games, and the World Cup thrill fans around the world. In all three, speed, among other things, plays an important role.
As motorsport fans, we immediately think of thrilling races -- particularly one which holds a special place in the history of AMG motorsport.
We're talking, of course, about the 24 Hours of Spa, where in 1971 a fire-red Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG turned the young brand into a shining star in the engine sky. A classic motorsport fairy tale.  
In this article, we look beyond the horizon and consider all the moving parts that contributed to this overnight sensation. The only consideration? It has to keep rollin'. During our search, we came across some of the most unusual races in the world. Have fun reading. We look forward to hearing which "rolling rally" you like best and which one you might have already participated in.

The Rickshaw Run

Loud honking, swirling dust and scooters, trucks and buses speeding towards you from all directions. Welcome to India, the land of spices and rough roads. Nowhere else in the world is traffic as chaotic. Want to get around fuss-free? Look no further than the traditional rickshaw, also called a tuk-tuk. With its boundless shapes and colours, the classic tricycle is a real eye-catcher and indispensable on India's streets, especially for tourists. If you've ever had the pleasure of a fun, albeit wobbly ride, it's probably hard to imagine how the rickshaw would hold up in an off-road race. But what the three-wheeled vehicles lack in horsepower, they make up for in stability. That's what the "Adventurists" founder, Mr Tom, discovered when he fell head over heels in love with the little roadsters on his trip to India. In 2006, the first Rickshaw Run took place and became an instant hit. You can choose between different adventures like Indian eye poke, Himalayan tooth punch, and Sri Lankan face slap. There are start and finish lines, sure, but everything else is up to you. And that's the appeal. 

Office Chair Grand Prix

One of the strangest and probably least expensive motorsport developments is office chair racing. As you might have guessed, it gathers a very special kind of speed enthusiast. Participation requires an office chair, a comprehensive safety kit consisting of a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and a dash of courage. Racers have full freedom when it comes to design and driving style. Experience shows, however, that a horizontal position is promising, even if proponents of the so-called old-school driving style prefer to be seated. A 200-meter-long sloping road serves as the racetrack, with hands and feet used as the "engine". The rest is simply a matter of keeping the chair on course through whatever artistic contortions one can muster. Not an easy feat by any means. The same motto applies here as in the first long-distance car race in 1894 from Paris to Rouen: All that matters is reaching the finish!

Bed Racing

On your beds, get set, go! You won't find a good night's sleep at the Great Grove Bed Race in Miami, which takes place annually on Labor Day. Instead, participants hit the hay in homemade moving beds to compete as teams of five in what is probably the world's only bed rally. The fastest team wins, but there are also prizes for creativity. You should see some of the decor. Complete with pyjama pub crawls, obstacle courses, and elaborate bed parades, the event is not just about speed, but also about good times and a good cause. All donations support a local youth center. 

Cheese Chasing

Close your eyes and imagine lush green meadows, a rolling hills, and sheep lingering dreamily in the fields. Nothing could disturb this idyll -- or could it? Suddenly, a wheel of cheese rolls down the slope in front of you ... followed by a rumbling, somersaulting crowd of daredevils. We're in Gloucestershire, a county in the southwest of England, Cooper's Hill to be exact. Here's where a four-day event called "The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake" takes place -- an apt name. Participants plunder after a 3.5-kilo wheel of cheese as it rolls down a hill. Whoever reaches the cheese first wins. In addition to fame and glory, the winner also is also awarded an aromatic, buttery Double Gloucestershire cheese wheel. A somewhat unusual figure in racing, the it certainly meets our criteria and has therefore earned its place on the list. Amazingly, the dairy delicacy reaches speeds of up to 112 km/h and attracts thousands of spectators every year.

Lawnmower Racing

Who would have thought that our reliable garden helpers pack such power under the hood? In 1973, at the Cricketers Arms in Wisborough Green, grand proclamations like "We need a cheap motorsport!" and "Everybody has a lawn mower!" heralded the start of lawn mower racing and the founding of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association (BLMRA). All types of mowers, from retail to souped-up grass-cutters, compete in this down-to-earth competition. The goal is to ride one's mower as fast as possible around the race track, past the competition and across the finish line. The sport isn't just for the DIY crowd, but also attracts motorsport greats. Sir Stirling Moss, a British Grand Prix and 12 Hours Endurance Race winner, also found success on a mower. Le Mans champion Derek Bell, too, is among the list of winners in lawnmower racing. Think you and your machine could hold your own in this fascinating sport?

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