Land Speed Record
Salt Flats World of Speed
|Sammy Hagar, one of
the most preeminent traffic analysts in the United
States, said it best. "I can't drive 55!" He wrote these words in the
dark ages of U.S. automotive history, the 55 mph speed limit that
persisted 1974 to 1987. Who ever would have guessed this song could
ever actually apply to a barstool? Under scientifically controlled
conditions, the barstool below was clocked going 58.56808 mph! That's
94.2561881 km/hr! The official two run average was 53.55815 for the
IMDS Racing Team! This sets a new world record. (Numbers from http://www.SaltFlats.com ). Photo credit Ray
the Rat, http://www.ChevyAsylum.com .
|Here you can see the
race winning body positioning. Rules state your butt must be on the
. I imagine some folks actually adopt this posture in real bars, but on
the Salt Flats aerodynamics are king. Note the knees bent like a
jockey, body horizontal like a swimmer, hands forward like
a bicycle racer, and feet back like a motorcycle racer. To this
writer's knowledge, no one has tried
leaning way back, or sitting side-saddle, to try to lessen the wind
resistance over this position. Photo credit Ray the
Rat, http://www.ChevyAsylum.com .
|Full out land speed
racers have as many as seven miles to build speed. 150 mph club drivers
have 2 miles. 130 club has 1 mile. Barstools go about 1/4 mile... That
is all they have to go. The results show this
barstool flew past the 1/4 mile traps going over 55 mph, then past the
1/2 mile trap at over 58 mph, and was still exceeding 56 mph at the 1
mile trap! Imagine that, on a single car battery!
Photo credit for these three photos goes to Ray the Rat, photos used
with permission. You can see
many of his awesome Salt Flats, and other racing, photos at http://www.ChevyAsylum.com .
You can see a nice pic of the winning team at http://www.saltflats.com/2009_photos_6.htm
, scroll down to the 5th picture.
|I saw this fine
looking maching in the pits, but didn't see that it did any runs. I
love the blacked-out motif with red pinstripes, helping make the chrome
barstool stand out. Even the battery was painted black. This is not a
machine I would want to see in my rearview mirror! Note the combination
fairing, air splitter, sign, and padded dash.
|Land speed racers
often use smooth hubcaps to help aerodynamics. It was nice to see this
level of attention to detail on this machine.
Read about my electric race car and other racing adventures: