CLASSIC SPEED ON BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS SMASH RECORDS
Kiwi Mini team break two – Renault’s Dauphine breaks one
Two separate land speed record projects featuring classic cars have taken to Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA – with a 1964 Mini Cooper taking two records.
Both projects took to the salt during this year’s Bonneville Speed Week, which was held on 13-19 August.
‘Project 64 Mini’, involved a New Zealand-based team transporting their 1964 Mini Cooper to Bonneville to tackle three speed records.
It successfully claimed two land speed records including breaking a class record (running on petrol) at a speed of 144.03mph as well as another class record (running on methanol) at a speed of 156.006mph.
In addition, an overall top speed of 166.046mph was recorded during a qualifying but unfortunately an official attempt for this particular class was not achievable due to engine failure.
Conditions-dependant, the turbocharged 970cc Mini is able to put out between 370-400bhp. Team co-founder Mike Wilson says: ‘ The motor was designed in the 1950s. We’ve changed it by using a BMW motorcycle engine head but even that is 30 years old and none of it is designed for this, but the combination of parts and the brilliance of the engineers in the team has resulted in these huge record margins.’
Meanwhile, both a Renault Dauphine and the Renault Etoile Filante also appeared at this year’s Bonneville Speed Week. The Renault ‘Etoile Filante’, which translates as ‘Shooting Star’, returned to the same venue where six decades previously it clocked a speed of 192mph and claimed four speed records while doing so. It was joined by a Renault Dauphine driven by Renault Formula E driver, and son of Alain Prost, Nicolas Prost, and successfully set a new class record of 76.5mph. Gillian Carmoodie ] www.project64mini.com