Bill's Bonneville 2012 Report

The annual trek to the salt began Wednesday morning.  We set off in the motorhome and things went great until about 80 miles from Las Vegas when the fuel pump decided to die.  I had no idea that Tyler's motorhome was doing the same thing in the wilds of Wyoming.  We eventually got it home about midnight and Thursday was spent prepping and loading up the old (315,000 miles) pick up.  We set off again Friday morning.  Glad to say this time the trip was uneventful.

We overnighted at Alamo in Nevada and arrived on the salt early Sat. afternoon.  Joe Darbyshire is my crew chief.  He is out of Show Low, AZ.  Located Joe and headed for tech.  No problems there and off to do the paperwork.  By the time we got all that done it was too late to run so we kicked back for the rest of the day.

I should add that over the winter I built an oversize Weslake to allow me to run in the 650 pushrod sidecar class.  At 546cc it is legal for the class.  The first couple of runs at the May and June El Mirage meets were not encouraging.  Both runs were slow and plagued with a severe misfire.  I traced it to the carb.  A change from a 38mm Kehin to a 45mm Mikuni transformed the sidecar.  But the first run on the salt still had me nervous.  Once again the top end misfire crept in.  But not the same.  This time it was fuel starvation.  The class record was a sad 83 mph.  Despite the misfire the sidecar went through the lights at 112 mph for the mile with a top speed of 120 mph.  So it was off to impound to start the record certification process.  I run a fuel pump and pressure regulator.  I upped the fuel pressure by 1 p.s.i. and hoped it would work.

Woohoo!  Did it work!  Went through the mile at 124 mph and that gave us a new record at 118.350 mph.   And it was off to do a class change.

The fuel class record was an equally sad 104 mph.  The sidecar was jetted on the rich side.  There's an old Bonneville saying.  Run rich, run all week.  Worth remembering.  I leaned it a bit but not enough to make me nervous.  

So it was off to the line.  The down one surprised even me!  129.475 mph average for the mile!!  My chase truck came down the return road honking and hooting!!  Off to impound again.  I had to pull the head after the gas record to have the engine measured.  And I had the sense to have it sealed after measurement.  Impound was a simple check everything over and oil the chains etc.  The return run the next morning produced a 128 mph run and a new record of 128.703 mph. With the objectives accomplished we loaded up and headed for home a bunch of happy Redliners. Once again, a big thanks to all the Redliners who have support us in our drive for more speed.

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