Annual August speed trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) in Utah have involved every imaginable type of vehicle, from hot rods to jet cars, electric cars and motorcycles. In addition to just being cool to watch, these time trials and racing efforts have been a proving ground for new technological achievements in power plants, composite materials and aerodynamics. Although August Speed trials may seem like a permanent fixture on the racing enthusiast’s calendar, imagine how bummed you would be if the summer came and went without time trials. Unfortunately, unless things change soon, the time trials may become a thing of the past.
Once spanning 96,000 acres, the BSF has been reduced to 30,000 acres due potash mining on adjacent property. By the mid-1990s, the flats had lost of over 18 inches of salt crust, and as of today, there is less than three inches of salt in most useable areas of the BSF. If this trend continues, we can all say good-bye to an iconic event on the annual racing scene.
The Bonneville Nationals (BNI), Save the Salt Foundation, Source Interlink Media, Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), SEMA Action Network (SAN) and Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) have joined together to form the “Save the Salt Coalition”.
The plan to save the flats is really simple, but there is a hitch. Coalition members want to pump brine water back onto the salt flats during the winter and spring, when the basin is naturally covered with water. When the brine water evaporates during the hot summer months, the salt flats will increase in thickness and hardness, and the underground aquifer supporting the salt crust will be replenished. While all this sounds easy enough, it takes money….a lot of money. Coalition members are appealing to speed fans like you, seeking donations to secure the future of the flats. To learn more about this important initiative to save the BSF, or to make a donation, visit the “Save the Salt Coalition” website at www.savethesalt.org.
Now that we have done our part to help save the planet, it’s time for a shameless promotional plug. It is really HOT in Utah in August…..scorching hot. Are you planning to show off your classic ride at the BSF next summer? If the AC in your vintage muscle car isn’t up to the job, visit www.classicautoair.com for retrofit AC systems or original OEM factory original parts.br> br>
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