MotoIQ’s Project 240SX Sets a Land Speed Record at El Mirage!

MotoIQ’s Project 240SX Sets a Land Speed Record at El Mirage!

By Annie Sam
Photos by Joe Lu and Sharry Lai

After three years of building and chasing a dream, MotoIQ's Project 240SX Land Speed Racer claimed the Southern California Timing Association's (SCTA) H/PS class land speed record for El Mirage at 165.5 miles per hour. The old record of 135.712 mph was set by Doug Kruse of Kruse Technology back in 2010.

H/PS Class: H stands for the engine class for motors with a displacement of 1 to 1.5 liters and PS stands for Production Supercharged. Production meant it had to be a stock bodied production vehicle with little to no aerodynamic modifications aside from very minor changes, such as removing rear view mirrors and trim. And in this case, supercharged means any forced-induction system.

Driver Chuck Johnson knew he left some speed on the table, acknowledging that he probably had another 10 mph he could have added to the record.  But to err on the side of caution, Chuck decided to not flog the motor that day on the Mojave because he didn't want to risk blowing it up before Bonneville's Speed Week. This was a good decision on his part, as too many people spilled too much blood sweat and tears for this racecar. Divorce papers were probably being drawn up, and breakups were being caused to the people who were involved in this home wrecker of a project. Not making it to Bonneville was NOT an option.

Showing up to El Mirage that Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m., you wouldn't have suspected the chaos which had ensued the nights before getting to this point. The stillness that usually covered desert mornings was charged with anticipation as racers buzzed around the pits, waiting for the drivers meeting to finish so that they could get back to setting up their cars.

Mother Nature could not have been more kind to us this July meet. The weather was a partly cloudy 97 degrees, with winds hovering around 5mph. This was quite a blessing, considering that the June El Mirage meet was cancelled due to winds which were clocked at over 30mph in 102-degree heat.

Watching the team gel together as they unloaded the race car and equipment, all team members were in sync. You never would have suspected that I only slept an hour the night before the event, or that Nick Hunter slept probably a total of 5 hours that entire week leading up to race day. This is why if you ever notice when race car drivers speak, you hardly ever hear them say “I” when discussing a race or a racecar. Driving is just one of the factors that make a successful race endeavor. The “we” is what makes it happen.  Not to sound cliché, but without the help of Nick Hunter of 5523 Motorsports, John Kuchta of Specialty Cars Fabrication and Chuck's right-hand man Sean Rossi, or the sum of so many others which had volunteered along the way, this car would not have made it out to the race, let alone covet a record.

This was one of many 3:00 a.m. moments where we were exhausted and on the verge of just walking away from it all.


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