Sunday, August 27, 2023

Bonneville Speed Week 2023. A successful failure.

If you're an impatient person who want fast results and have your home in Europe or Asia, take my advice and don't start to participate in landspeed racing (LSR) at Bonneville and El Mirage in US. Technical issues, time, money and not the least mother nature and pandemic's will empty you pockets but as well make you stoic. 

After Speed Week 2019 (rained out), 2020 (pandemic, could not enter US), 2021 (same as 2020), 2022 (cancelled, rained out) we were really eager to test our Amazon to see if the Ohlin rear end update would make our race car more stable and solve the handling issue that we've experienced. We needed as well to update our LSR licenses, since these had been downgraded automatically year after year.

 So what happened?

First the success, we were able to test our race car properly on perfect surface at the El Mirage Desert.

 This time we took things serious and used full safety equipment and built our own test track at El Mirage. Magnus and I made four 125mph test laps each in a totally in a totally empty desert, with only Magnus, myself and Carina and some perhaps sidewinders as audience.
We measured all test and logged all test data. Analysis is still ongoing. 
Feels good!
But how about Bonneville Speed Week? Well...we all (Salt Slush, A-Bombers)  met at the Scandinavian Street Rods workshop (Erik and Ruth) in Orange, California. And yes, It was really nice to met this group of people again! But suddenly there were bad news...Bonneville Speed week was postponed due to rain, from Friday to Saturday, and from Saturday to Sunday....and on top of that, Nisse had fuel and performance problems (pictured) while Erik & Ruth's tow truck suffered a severe transmission issue.
Our car was as ready as it could be. Not tested, but prepared for race over and over again. Picture: Magnus and Cina package the parachute.

Other than that?  Our old Chevy Suburban did not feel really cold anymore when the ambient temperature was between 35 to 45 deg C. So we went to a workshop in Gardena where a mechanic analyzed, sealed and filled up our AC. We did change cooling hoses too after a minor incident outside a U-haul office...
Eventually, we left L.A and drove the 1000km up to Wendover and Bonneville Salt Flats. We stayed as usually in Ely, a small western town in the middle of nowhere. We like it there. A nice cool place in Nevada.
We arrived at the Salt...the wet salt. It felt like 2019...water everywhere and only one track open. Long waiting time between each race and we had to drive 3 lap each to again qualify for speeds above 200mph. Our licenses had as mentioned expired. It was Tuesday noon...and we did could not see that we would get in total 6 laps + fast laps.
So we packed our stuff and drove back to L.A area again...
...but all good that ends good...and on our way to Orange, CA, we stopped at El Mirage dry lake and could, as mentioned, test the race car properly. Which felt really good. We learned that the chassis modification that we've made was successful, but we learned as well that we need to tune the front end as well to make the car stable and controllable at high speeds.  
We consider to race at El Mirage as well in the future, but more on that topic later...

No comments:

Post a Comment