Salt, Sun, & Speed: Scenes from Bonneville Speed Week

Plan B COO and autosports addict Ric Van Sickle joined clients from Peridot Corporation, a Silicon Valley precision components manufacturer (who were drawn to the technological innovation focus of the event), for two days of fun in the sun at the 2017 Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed Record Racing event.

Land Speed Record (LSR) racing has taken place at the salt flats near Wendover, Utah since 1914, part of “Bonneville Speed Week.” Each year in mid August, competitors from around the world descend on the Bonneville Speedway to make a run at the land speed record (or absolute land speed record), the highest speed achieved by a person using a vehicle on land.

The LSR record is standardized as the speed over a course of fixed length, averaged over two runs, called “passes.” Two runs are required in opposite directions within an hour, and a new record mark must exceed the previous one by at least one percent to be validated. Competing vehicles are categorized according to their body styles and powertrain.

Highlights from this year include Ohio State University running their world-record-holding (358mph!) all-electric streamliner, the ‘Venturi VBB-3’ (the 3rd generation ‘Venturi Buckeye Bullet’), and discovering that there’s such a thing as inner-nasal sunburn. Spectators were advised to apply sunscreen to the inside of their nostrils to protect from the sun reflecting off the salt!

Nothing like a couple days of pure, unadulterated speed to get the heart racing and restore the spirit. Until next year, Bonneville!

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