BAR and Bonneville Flats

BAR-Honda is set to go to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in October to see what ultimate speed an F1 car can achieve in a straight line. A 2005 007 will be driven either by James Rossiter or Adam Carroll (probably the former). Besides being fitted with a mandatory parachute to aid braking and having "everything that helps it go fast round corners removed", it will run in normal configuration with the wings trimmed out. The run is being staged as a promotion for Lucky Strike and the BAR Honda is expected to reach speeds around 400 kmh (250 mph).

The salt flats, located near Wendover on the Utah/Nevada border, were once the mecca for record breaking and three Speed Week meetings are held each year. ?Terrible' Teddy Tetzlaff drove a Blitzen Benz to set an unofficial land speed record of 141.73 mph there in 1914 but it was not until 1935 that Sir Malcolm Campbell switched from Daytona Beach to Bonneville and achieved his final land speed record of 301.129 mph in his Bluebird. Fellow Britons George Eyston and John Cobb waged their own battle for the record later in the Thirties, before the Sixties saw an explosion of speed as the pure jetcars appeared. Craig Breedlove broke 400 mph with his Spirit of America in 1963, and ventured first through 500 and 600 in a game of Russian Roulette with rival Art Arfons between 1964 and '65. Breedlove's final 600.601 mph mark succumbed to compatriot Gary Gabelich's 622.407mph with the Blue Flame in October 1970. This was the last outright land speed record set at Bonneville. After failing on the flats in 1981, Richard Noble switched his Thrust2 programme to Nevada's Black Rock Desert in 1982, and after breaking the record there in 1983 returned with the successful supersonic ThrustSSC in 1997 to establish that as the fastest land on earth.

Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter

Print News Story