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Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats 2016

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2016 saw a return of Speed Week back to the Bonneville Salt Flats outside of Wendover Utah. People and racers were anxious alike to get out test their machines. It also saw a return of the Mickey Thompson Challenger, a rocketing blue stream liner being driven by the son, Danny Thompson. We caught starting line footage (below) of his 411 MPH run that Saturday (while breathing jet fumes).

Streamliner Facts:

  • The streamliner is four wheel drive. Each engine drives one set of wheels. The drivetrains mirror each other exactly, so the front engine is actually mounted backwards in the chassis.
  • The car's skin is made-up of 68 hand formed aluminum panels. They are connected to the subframe via Dzus buttons.
  • The engines are dry blocks (waterless), which means all of the cooling is provided by the fuel. A single run will consume around 50 gallons of nitro/methanol blend. As a result, the car's weight drops by 500 pounds over the course of a run.
  • The tires are a prototype nylon weave backed with banded steel. There is only 1/32 of an inch of rubber. Any more would spin off due to heat and expansion. They are custom made by Mickey Thompson Tires.
  • Primary stopping power is provided by dual parachutes with four foot blossoms. The car is also equipped with carbon ceramic disk brakes.

The 400mph club is great and all, but watching these crazy machines often inspire us to go out and seek our own challenges and adventures. There's lots of offroad trails and mountain roads right off of the salt, great spots and views to explore. Check it out below!

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