BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS WORLD SPEED RECORD TRIALS
Each year in September, those seeking to set World Speed Records gather at the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of those unique and mysterious places on our planet. The Bonneville Salt Flats was created by evaporation of giant Lake Bonneville evaporating and leaving a huge salt deposit behind. To this date,, man has used that flat and relatively smooth surface of salt to establish World Land Speed Records. Art Arfons, Craig Breedlove and the Vesco brothers, are a few of the well know who've come here to run their specialty cars down the 8-mile long stretch of flat salt at speeds exceeding 500 mph.
When man began attempting to set world land speed records at Bonneville, the salt deposits left by the ancient lake were about four feet thick. Because of mining the salt flats for potash used in fertilizer and for salt used on our dining room tables, the thickness of the salt has been reduced to only inches. An effort is underway to have the BLM begin the process of replenishing the unique lake bed surface by returning salt to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Don Vesco, driver of the Turbinator that Team Vesco brings to Bonneville set a record of 482.646 mph in September 2018. In their effort to set a record over 500 mph, they achieved a speed of 503.332 mph. A speed record is determined by the average of two runs. Wet weather set in prior to the second run and the record was not set. They were back in 2019.
Team Vesco 'TURBINATOR' going for another world speed record.
Utah's Don Vesco preparing for his run.
Cars of every shape and size come to the Salt Flats to chase speed records. All are beautiful and works of art, some going back to the 1930's, others unique as Vesco's and cars created from aircraft wing-tip fuel tanks with a motor, a driver's seat and wheels put in them. Motorcycles are also custom built to chase that elusive world speed record. Motors range from single cylinder motorcycle engines, to flat head V-8's and big block V-8's to jet turbines as in the Turbinator.
No longer a sport dominated by men.
The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah's west desert is one of the few spots on Earth where one can capture the sunrise and see the moon set simultaneously.