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


We got the usual shakedown, but a couple winks from Chuck and the tech inspectors just had to let him through.

Back to Sunday morning, now 10:00 a.m. The car was prepped and ready for tech inspection. Breezing through tech, we took the car straight to staging where we waited in the sweltering heat for our turn to run.

Fortunately for the event, there was only a slight breeze blowing under 5mph. Unfortunately for us, this meant that we were stuck in a stagnant 100-degree heat surrounded by revving racecars billowing hot fumes.
Getting strapped in is a pretty big ordeal. Window net. Center net. Helmet, HANS Device, gloves, shoulder belts, lap belts and arm restaints all needed to be in order at least three cars in advance. In the event that the car in front of you couldn't run for any reason, they wouldn't have to waste any time sending the next driver out. 


When we reached the front of the line, you could feel the intensity in the air. The team was focused on making sure Chuck was strapped in, and all equipment was functioning properly. Then, it was window nets up, door closed, and the signal from the starting line. This was it!

At the launch, you could see the 240SX fishtail as it struggled to gain traction. Through the entire mile, Chuck would find himself making corrections to ensure that the car didn't get too sideways and cause him to spin. Towards the last quarter mile, Chuck got more aggressive and accelerated harder causing him to cross through the timing lights in a somewhat impressive 165 miles per hour drift. Luckily for Chuck, he had the parachute to pull him straight and prevent a spin.

Here's an example of how the track continually gets ground into fine dust with each run. 

Chuck described the course as being extremely loose. After several racecars made passes, the surface of the El Mirage dry lakebed was basically composed of a very fine dust. Think talcum powder. Although the dusty surface made for an impressive rooster tail measuring over ten feet in height, Chuck reported that El Mirage's dirt surface was exponentially more difficult to drive on than Bonneville. Add in that El Mirage requires a driver to accelerate a lot more aggressively being only 1.3-miles long and it becomes even more challenging to drive.   

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