Fastest of the fast

World Land Speed Shootout aims to set new records

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 13, 2008, Photography by cole24_
The world’s fastest two- and four-wheeled machines will gather this fall to decide which is the fastest of them all.

The TOP 1 Oil World Land Speed Shootout will take place Sept. 22-26 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah. Ten teams, five on motorcycles and five automobiles, will compete in the event sanctioned by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to set official land speed records in their classes.

The competition is open to wheel-driven machines that have either set or come close to setting recent land speed records and conform to FIM/FIA technical and safety requirements.

The World Land Speed Shootout is organized by Mike Cook of Cook Motorsports. Cook will assemble a panel of judges who will select the ten entrants to the competition.

Chris Carr, piloting the BUB Number 7 Streamliner, holds the current land speed record for motorcycles at 350.884 mph.

“We’re providing a platform for top contenders,” says Cook. “Land Speed Racing events like Speed Week have become very popular, which is great for our sport, but the number of entries makes it difficult to set new records, due to time constraints,

“This competition isn’t for amateurs – it is only open to the best qualified and most experienced teams in the world.”

The Bonneville Salt Flats is a popular location for high-speed record setting due to its extremely flat terrain. The 159 square mile area is the final remnant of an ancient lake in what is now northwestern Utah. The ground consists of up to six feet of densely-packed sediments with alkali salts. The surface remains flat and nearly perfectly aligned with the shape of the Earth by rain.

To be recognized as an official record by the FIM, a motorcycle must complete two different runs of the track within two hours, once in each direction, with the average of the two times considered for the record. The current record holder is Chris Carr who recorded an average speed of 350.884 mph in 2006 wth the BUB Number 7 Streamliner.

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