'95 World Land Speed Trials

'95 WORLD LAND SPEED TRIALS "THUNDER DOWN UNDER" March 5 - 12, 1995 LAKE GAIRDNER, SA AUSTRALIA Contact Info: Mr. Dick Williams International Speed Challenge 783 San Andreas Road La Selva Beach, CA 95076-1907 USA Tel (408) 722-4419 Fax...



Contact Info:

Mr. Dick Williams International Speed Challenge 783 San Andreas Road La Selva Beach, CA 95076-1907 USA Tel (408) 722-4419 Fax (408) 722-0195 E-Mail:plastics@ix.netcom.com

The International Speed Challenge (ISC), an organization dedicated to aid in the preservation of world automobile land speed trials and records, has found the perfect site for an extraordinary event: Lake Gairdner, SA Australia, for the Australian International Salt Flat Challenge.

The ISC has searched far and wide for a site to bring this exciting spectator sport to the world's attention. Lake Gairdner is a tried and true racing site; home to the Dry Lake Racers of Australia (DLRA) originators and historic hosts of the land speed trials annual meet for the past four years. It is a dry salt lake 20 miles wide and 100 miles long, or about the size of the entire state of Delaware. The elevation is 330 feet above sea level.

The "Australian International Salt Flat Challenge" is an event of worldwide magnitude. It is FIA sanctioned. Therefore all records attained will be available for entry into the world record books. Major American land speed record holders and record class vehicles have already committed to "The Challenge". Recognition and support has also been obtained from the Southern California Timing Association, The Utah Salt Flat Racing Association, DLRA and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). National television coverage in the United States will be provided by Diamond "P" Sports, the premier sponsor of automobile racing coverage to ESPN and the Nashville Network. There has also been interest expressed by European and Australian television networks and by virtually all of the major automobile publication media.

Man's fascination with speed and love of the automobile have made automobile racing, in it's many forms, the leading spectator sport in the entire world. The least visible and most understandable segment of this sport is the quest for all out top speed. The "point it in a straight line, let it all hang out, how fast will it go" urge that seems to be in all racing fans. The formalization and recognition of this type of event started on the dry lakes of Southern California and finally migrated to the salt flats of Northwestern Utah. It was discovered that the smooth, flat salt provided the ultimate in low friction surfaces for going fast. This lead to the birth of the famous Bonneville Salt Flats, historic home of world land speed trials and records. And so it remained until recently. Over the last decade increased mining and climatic changes have resulted in extreme deterioration of the salt surface at Bonneville. The schedule of events during this period have been severely affected or cancelled. There is even now serious question as to whether the salt conditions will allow the next "Speed Week" event to be staged. Other North American locations with any suitability are under the control of commercial or governmental mining operations. The future of this historic form of automobile sport is in grave jeopardy.

The ISC's board and advisory staff is currently made up of dedicated volunteers from the fields of advertising, transportation, law, medicine, travel, education, manufacturing and racing. Under the direction of Mr. Richard "Dick" Williams, owner of a company that manufactures custom fiberglass components for the aerospace, automotive and recreational industries, ISC is assisting in developing the best alternative site for the continuation of world competition in this segment of the automobile racing sport.

Lake Gairdner is a dry salt lake reminiscent of Bonneville forty years ago. The facilities are basic, however the racing conditions are outstanding. The thickness of the salt varies from twelve to thirty-six inches and has been described as "white asphalt". Spinning the tires leaves black tracks. The surface is so hard that it chips like concrete if it is hit with a hammer. Try to drive a metal tent stake into it and the stake will bend. Holes must be drilled. The denser air at a lower altitude (330 ft at Lake Gairdner vs 4,000 ft at Bonneville) cooler daytime temperatures and extremely fine salt surface could conceivably increase the current land speed records by 10 to 20 percent! The Australian land speed record for jet cars was set here in March 1994 at over 500 miles per hour. This sight is indeed proven. At the lake shore sight itself there is plenty of space for camping with basic kitchen, shower and toilet facilities. The Australian Government has made a commitment to add improvements. The loss of the Australian Grand Prix has resulted in a reduction in tourist revenue for the area (and loss of taxes for the government entities). This event will assist in bringing some of those tourists and their dollars, pounds, lira, franks, marks and yen back to Australia for automobile racing. Several associated activities and complete travel tours will be available before, during and after the speed trials.

(Usenet posting made by Jeffrey W. Vinson with information supplied by the ISC.)

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Teams Williams