Bonneville Speedway is an area of the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah, that is marked out for motor sports. It is particularly noted as the venue for numerous land speed records, typically set during Speed Week in September of each year - although other events are scheduled.
The salt flats were first used for motor sports in 1912, but didn't become truly popular until the 1930s when the Ab Jenkins and Sir Malcolm Campbell competed against each other to set the land speed record.
The speedway is marked out by the Utah State Highway Department at the start of each summer. Usually two tracks are prepared; a 10 mile long straightway for speed trials and an oval or circular track for distance runs, which is typically between 10 and 12 miles (16 and 19 km) long depending on the condition of the salt surface. In recent years, there has also been a 5 mile (8 km) long straightway for qualifying slower vehicles.
The straightway is marked with a broad black line down its centre and has several measured mile sections after the second mile. Additional marks and cones indicate the end of the track and the position of timing equipment on the measured mile.
Ron Mains GM powered ECO LSR streamliner
Events and meetings
Each year in August, the Southern California Timing Association and Bonneville Nationals Inc. organise a Speed Week, which attracts several hundred drivers who compete to set highest speed in a range of categories.
A similar event in September each year is the World of Speed, organised by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA). The USFRA also meet on the first Wednesday of each month throughout the summer.
Land speed records
Numerous land speed records in a various categories and classes of vehicle 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 (654.36 km/h) surpassing John Cobb's one-way Land speed record of 403 mph (649 km/h).
Other notable examples of speed records are;
Bonneville Nationals Inc.(BNI)
The Bonneville Nationals Inc. hosts a spectacular week of racing on the Bonneville salt flats each year in August, which is the highlight of the Land Speed Racing season. Anyone can become a member of the BNI by simply filling out a membership form and sending it in with the membership fee. This membership allows you to enter a vehicle for competition at any of the events held on the salt flats each year.
To become a BNI member - click here (This form is an Adobe Acrobat document)
JOIN BEFORE SPEED WEEK AND YOUR MEMBERSHIP WILL INCLUDE:
A BNI membership card, Bonneville Nationals Speed Week entry pin, embroidered patch, Bonneville Nationals Speed Week poster, SCTA Rules and Records book, Bonneville Nationals Speed Week program, BNI decal and 4 issues of the Straightaway News.
Southern California Timing Association (SCTA)
The Southern California Timing Association is comprised of 12 racing clubs located in Southern California. The SCTA governs all Land Speed Racing that occurs on the El Mirage dry lake located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles. In order to become a member of the SCTA, you must first join one of the twelve clubs and perform club duties during the racing season each year (May-Nov).
SCTA - Associate Membership
The SCTA Associate Membership is for individuals who do not want to actually race a vehicle for one of the clubs at El Mirage dry lake, but would like to hold an associate position and receive all of the literature about the racing season.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are a 121 km˛ (47 mi˛) salt flat in northwestern Utah. A remnant of the ancient Lake Bonneville of glacial times, the Salt Flats are now public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Salt Flats are perhaps most famous for their use as the Bonneville Speedway for high-speed race cars which have achieved speeds in excess of 600 miles per hour (1000 kilometers per hour). Several movies have been filmed at the salt flats, including portions of Independence Day, The Brown Bunny and The World's Fastest
Each rainfall erases tiremarks and flattens the densely-packed saltpan that is inhospitable to plantlife.
In 2006 the Stardust landed safely on the salt flats; however, in 2004 the Genesis crashed into it, damaging the spacecraft after a failed parachute deployment. Los Alamos National Laboratory stated that they should be able to meet many, if not all, of their primary science goals.
The Bonneville Salt Flats as seen from a rest area along Interstate 80
One of the areas in the MMORPG World Of Warcraft is a possible homage to the flats. The area called "The Shimmering Flats" is located within the zone "Thousand Needles." It is a large salt flat in which the game's two engineer races, the goblins and gnomes, test and race rocket powered vehicles.
The World's Fastest Indian movie trailer
The Blueplanet Ecostar is long and low. It features battery cartridge refueling.
The driver sits at the rear dragster fashion, the battery cartridge is in the front
all the way to the nose cone. Check out the battery cartridge exchange sequence below.
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