Redliner Racer Intro: Wes White
I have been chasing the Gods of Speed on the Great White Dyno for going on seven years now. What started as a "why not (?)" kinda thing with a friend in 2006 became an obsession. The old guys I know who do Land Speed Racing warned me. They said that the Salt would "get on you." I did not exactly know what they meant, but now I do. I warn everyone the same way when asked if they should go out there. For the first 6 years I campaigned my 1951 Triumph 500cc Tiger 100, with a little break in 2010 to rebuild the Salt Ghost dual carb 650cc pushrod bike. After many mishaps, blow-ups and screw-ups with the 500cc motor, I might try something different this year. I have run out of high domed pistons for the 500cc bike and of course they don't make them anymore. Having them made is just too expensive and too much of a risk that they can be made correctly.
So this year I am leaning towards building a 650cc powered Triumph in the same chassis that I have been running the Tiger 100 motor. In 2011, I tried Nitro-Methane for the first time and got my feet wet with actual fuel. It was fun and very expensive, but the lure of way more power than you can use is just too tempting to go back to gas. My personal quest has always been to replicate the actions and formulas of all the guys that rode the Lakes back in the day. I go to a dinner once a month with a bunch of old Lakes Racers and Drag Racers and they give me inspiration with their stories and advice. I have always had a historian lurking inside me and those who know me best understand that part of me. That is why my current obsession is nitro. It is one key to going faster but it is also a way of reaching back into time and getting in touch with the history of Triumphs and Lakes racing. I see pictures of these guys I eat dinner with mixing nitro in chianti bottles in 1955 and it makes me burn to find that obscure knowledge and make it part of my knowledge. Living history, practical archeology...? I don't know.
I told someone my first year when asked, how fast do you wanna go(?), "I just wanna go faster." That has always been my mantra, just go faster that last year and worry about the records later. In this case the journey is the thrill not the record. Although I have to admit that I can still taste the sweetness of having built a couple of motors for the Malinky brothers that have World Records. I can't talk about the Bonneville Salt Flats without getting a little giddy as the whole experience is just the most amazing thing I have ever done. The friends I have made racing and the fun times we have had match up to any experience one could ever have. I took along my girlfriend last year and when it was over, she said she never realized how hard we would work, but how much fun that work would be.
Lots of work, lots of fun
Four Aces Cycle