Bonneville Speed Week begins
Aug 15 2012
The annual Bonneville Speed Week is gearing up for seven days of high-octane, high-speed antics 11-17 August, with competitors’ cars already having undergone preliminary technical inspections earlier this week.
The weeklong event is held on salt flats that were once the bed of Lake Bonneville and sees competitors push their cars over a five- to seven-mile course depending on the condition of the salt.
The 64th running of the Bonneville Speed Week event has 512 confirmed entries split between 342 cars and 170 motorcycles.
Everything from purpose built, jet-powered prototype machinery to completely stock production cars go up against the watch to see what maximum average speed their vehicle can obtain over the measured flying mile.
A crusty layer of moveable salt means traction is limited, therefore vehicles use the full length of the course to build up speed, before an average is taken over the allotted one-mile distance.
The first ever speed record at Bonneville was set by Teddy Tetzlaff in a Blitzen Benz at 141.73mph in 1914. By 1970 Gary Gabolich’s rocket car – “Blue Flame” – achieved a spectacular speed of 622.4mph.
Records are expected to fall at the 2012 Speed Week, with conditions looking conducive to some fast runs and a strong crop of entries across all classes.
Conditions can be gruelling for both car and pilot, with the salt flats eating away at mechanical components and temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius testing both the drivers’ resolve and the cars’ mechanical abilities.
Seven classes of car race during the event:
–> Class A – Special Construction
–> Class B – Vintage
–> Class C – Vintage Coupé and Sedan
–> Class D – Modified
–> Class E – Classic
–> Class F – Production
–> Class G – Diesel Truck
For more information on all the classes racing at Bonneville Speed Week, visit the official website . Check back next week to see MSN Car’s full gallery review of the event and the 2012 record breakers.
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