Bonneville Salt Flats Race Track
The world's fastest Diesel truck running on the Bonneville Speedway
|Nearest city||Wendover, Utah|
|Area||36,650 acres (14,830 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||75001826|
|Added to NRHP||December 18, 1975|
Historically, the speedway was marked out by the Utah Department of Transportation at the start of each summer. Originally, two tracks were prepared; a 10 mile long straightway for speed trials and an oval or circular track for distance runs, which was typically between 10 and 12 miles (16 and 19 km) long depending on the condition of the salt surface.
Since at least the 1990s, track preparations have been the responsibility of the event organizers. Days or weeks in advance, the track preparers identify an area best suited for their track layouts and begin grading the tracks. Surveyors are brought in to survey the timing trap distances. A day before racing begins, the track markers are added.
Originally, the straightway was marked with a broad black line down its center. This was eventually changed to lines down either side, as the center line wore out too quickly. As the costs for painting the lines has gone up, organizations have switched to flags and cones as track markers. The last event to use black lines was SpeedWeek, August 2009.
The number of tracks and the timed sections for each track are set according to what is most beneficial for each event. Large public meets such as SpeedWeek run as many as four tracks with several timed miles, usually starting with the second mile and running to the fifth mile. Smaller meets that typically only run world record attempts will utilize a single track, with one timed mile and one timed kilometer in the middle of the track. Additional marks and cones indicate the end of the track and the position of timing equipment.
Events and meetings
In August, the Southern California Timing Association and Bonneville Nationals Inc. organize SpeedWeek, the largest meet of the year, which attracts several hundred drivers who compete to set highest speed in a range of categories.
In September each year is the World of Speed, (similar to Speedweek) organized by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association. The USFRA also meet on the first Wednesday of each month throughout the summer.
In October, the Southern California Timing Association puts on World Finals, a scaled down version of SpeedWeek.
Each year, there are usually a few private meets that are not publicized scattered among the larger public meets.
Land speed records
Numerous land speed records in various vehicle categories and classes have been set on the Bonneville speed way. In 1960, Mickey Thompson became the first American to break the 400 mph (644 km/h) barrier, hitting 406.60 mph and (654.36 km/h) surpassing John Cobb's 1947 one-way Land speed record of 403 mph (649 km/h). Other notable examples of Bonneville speed records include:
|Year||Driver||Vehicle||Speed mph||Speed km/h||Class (category)||Notes|
|1935||Sir Malcolm Campbell||Blue Bird||301.129||484.620||[data needed]|
|1947||Don Waite||The Edelbrock Special||192||309||[data needed]|
|1963||Craig Breedlove||Spirit of America||407.447||655.722||[data needed]|
|1963||Dick Beith||Pepco 36 hp VW Lakester||129.68||208.700||K36 Unlimited||Pepco supercharged 36 hp based engine in a "Lakester" style car fashioned from a WW2 aircraft belly tank|
|1964||Art Arfons||The Green Monster||434.022||664.694||[data needed]|
|1965||Craig Breedlove||Spirit of America - Sonic 1||600.601||966.574||[data needed]|
|1967||Burt Munro||Indian Scout V-Twin||183.59||295.44||under 1,000 cc|
|1970||Gary Gabelich||Blue Flame||622.407||1001.67||[data needed]|
|2001||Don Vesco||Vesco Turbinator - Turbine Engine||458.443||737.395||[data needed]|
|2004||R. Schroe||Buckeye Bullet - Electric Vehicle||314.958||524.930||[data needed]|
|2006||Andy Green||JCB Dieselmax - Diesel Streamliner||350.092||563.418||[data needed]|
|2012||Brandon Nozaki Miller||2012 Zero Motorcycles S ZF6 - Lightweight (under 150kg) Unfaired Electric Motorcycle||102.281||164.605||First production electric motorcycle to break 100mph|
- Utah Salt FlatsRacing Association
- Southern California Timing Association/Bonneville Nationals, Inc.
- "One Out Of Three Smashes Up." Popular Mechanics, August 1954, pp. 65–70/240, see page 70.