Setting speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Trials, 1966

The Bonneville Salt Flats are in Utah, USA, near the border with Nevada, and as the name suggests it is a very large and very flat area of ​​land. Speed ​​Freak started using the terrain for racing back in 1912.

Since 1935, Bonneville has been one of the primary locations for land speed record efforts, with most land speed records recorded between 1935 and 1970.

The flats were first recognized for their potential as a speed-testing ground by Bill Richel, who in 1896 cycled across the area to win a competition run by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.

In 1907, Richel and two local merchants tested the suitability of salt for driving with a Pierce Arrow on flats. A railway line at the Bonneville Salt Flats was completed in 1910, marking the first permanent crossing.

The use of the salt flats as a speedway began in 1914 with Teddy Tetzlaff's run, which exceeded the land speed record, although the new record was not officially recognized.

Richel continued to promote the area for racing, and in 1927 Ab Jenkins raced against a train on the 125-mile (201 km) stretch between Salt Lake City and Wendover.

Jenkins set a circular course of 10 miles (16 km) over the salt, which he used to set 24-hour records in 1932 and 1933.

The field became internationally famous in 1935 when Malcolm Campbell set a new land speed record, making him the first person to break the 300 mph (480 km/h) mark. For the next 35 years, almost all land speed records were set in the salt flats.

Drivers descended on the flats from all over the world, bringing with them custom-designed vehicles with precisely streamlined bodies and exceptionally powerful engines. Various classes of competing vehicles emerged, including streamliners, roadsters, and jet-powered cars in the early 1960s.

The last outright record to be set at the Bonneville Salt Flats was on October 23, 1970, when Gary Gabelich's rocket-powered Blue Flame accelerated to 1,014.6 kilometers per hour, making it more than 1,000 kilometers per hour (621 mph) Went.

Currently, five major land motion events take place in the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bonneville "Speed ​​Week" takes place in mid-August, followed by "World of Speed" in September and "World Finals" in early October.

These three events welcome cars, trucks and motorcycles. "Bub Motorcycle Speed ​​Trial" is only for motorcycles. The world records are contested in the Mike Cook shootout in September.

The Southern California Timing Association and the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association organize and plan multi-vehicle events, but all event promoters contribute to preparing and maintaining the salt.

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