Speed Week 2006 at Bonneville Speedway
(Click here for Bonneville Speedweek 2007 info)
(Click here for Bonneville Speedweek 2008 info)
Obviously Speed Week was a blast!
The sun was brutal, as were the vehicles that showed up there to tear up
the salt. Scott Clark (DieselGeek), Mike Higginson and I met up
out there along with Gary and Sandy Hart and their mean 53' Studebaker,
and their buddies Mike and Richard Collison who were driving Gary's 1950
Buick. A great time (and a bit of sunburn) was had by all.
Mike Collison set a new record in the Buick for the XXO Blown Fuel Comp
Coupe class, and Gary qualified for a record but had a freak issue with
a coolant hose that stopped him from backing it up.
Finally... the video of Gary's first 'warmup' run at SpeedWeek 2006. If
you can consider 227mph a warmup! We reviewed the MegaSquirt datalogs
after the run and found Gary never got into the throttle more than 29%!!!
So what happened next? Well, on Gary's next run he made it to 233mph,
but something wasn't right. He got back and reported to the crew (that
would be Scott Clark, Mike Higginson, Mike and Richard Collison and I) that it
seemed to be surging and hesitating up top. We reviewed the datalogs and
found that Gary actually did end up punching the throttle at the top of 5th
gear, boost shot to 17.7 psi, and RPMs immediately dropped off. What the
I'll tell you what.... the datalogs also showed his coolant temp sensor
never reached operating temp, it maxed out at 152 and it should have been up
around 210. It was working fine, though it was reading the AIR temperature
that was in the coolant passages after the water drained out! During
further investigation we found that the lower coolant hose had popped off most
likely at the end of the previous run, and this 233mph pass had been run
COMPLETELY DRY! Not good. The motor tightened up when the temps shot
up and choked the power down as the internals were stressed way beyond the
design specs. At this point the motor turns over, with a pretty bad
sounding clunk. Gary will do the autopsy soon enough but this ended his
fun at the 'Flats this year. It's too bad. This car has 250mph in it
EASY. In fact I'd guess it's got 270 or maybe more in it as long as it
will stay stuck to the ground! So while Gary qualified for his record on
his first run beating the previously held record, you have to back it up in
order to take the record, and we couldn't make that happen with the engine
Here's the time slip from the 'coolant free' pass in 2006...
Click on any of the above thumbnails for
the 1024x768 version...
Here's Gary ready to run in the 'Stude a
And here's Gary's Buick that Mike Collison
drove for a new record.
This is pretty brutal racing, and awesome
to be a part of even though I didn't get to drive ;(. I can't wait
for the next event!