The Salt Flats are Back

08.22.16 - Bonneville Salt Flats

Not that they actually went anywhere, but the Bonneville Salt Flats have been experiencing erosion over many years that has been attributed to mining operations in the area. The mining ins of the potash that is part of the underlying area under the actual salt crust of the flats. For years this mining has been slowly causing the flats to recede as the brine is siphoned through the underground aquifers that pump it out where needed. Unfortunately this has had a negative effect on the Salt Flats and for the past two years the Speed Week activities that are held at Bonneville have had to be cancelled.

The main culprit of this mining was Intrepid and even though the purpose of this salted area is to have this once a year event, the environmental concerns were great for the Bureau of Land Management. With these concerns stated, Intrepid began to pump brine back into the flats in an initiative that was called Save the Salt to help protect this area and bring it back to the former glory. After two years of no events taking place on the Bonneville Salt Flats it seems we are about to have a Speed Week once again.

According to the Southern California Timing Association website the Bonneville Salt Flats will be perfect and ready for the speed obsessed crowds that will gather at the location and see just what each machine has to offer. So fat there is a five mile course and a three mile course that have both been groomed and are ready to go with work taking place on the eight mile long course. These three course will have a variety of competitors challenging themselves, each other and their machines for the fastest vehicle in each group and some amazing land speed records.

In order to run the high speeds that have taken place at the Salt Flats a firm and dry crust must be present to help keep the control in place for the competitors. The crust is currently much thicker than it’s been in the past which is due in large part to the Salt Return Program from Intrepid and from the lack of events held on the salt in the past two years. Now that the salt is ready we will get to see how many speed machines can be pushed to the brink and set records in each class.

Speed Week will be held on the flats from August 13th to the 19th and so far there are at least 400 participants signed up, but that number is expected to increase as we get closer to the dates. Hopefully the weather will hold out and we will get to witness some of the fastest machines in the world competing for dominance at a location that is built for land speed records and pure horsepower to be on display. I know what I’ll be looking forward to during the second week in August and I hope you will join me in celebrating a week of speed that is back from its two years of slumber.

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