Bonneville Speed Week event organizers were unable to identify more than 2¼ miles of salt suitable for a safe course for this year’s event, forcing the Southern California Timing Association to cancel the annual competition. The announcement marks the second year in a row Speed Week has been cancelled, with last year’s event being called off due to rain..
Speed Week was first held in 1949 and is the largest annual event held at the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Every year hot rods, roadsters, purpose built race cars, motorcycles and other vehicles flock to the dried up lake bed to compete, but in recent years, the size, strength and thickness of the salt flats have deteriorated.
SEMA says the Bonneville Salt Flat’s track was at one point 13 miles long, however it is now 8 miles or less, meaning jet powered machines and other extremely fast machinery can no longer compete there. SEMA and other organizations have been working for years to help save the salt flats by dumping salt brine onto its surface, however this solution has been to no avail in recent years.
As a result of the deteriorated conditions at Bonneville, the Bureau of Land Management will launch a ‘detailed’ study of the salt crust later this year. The Save the Salt Coalition will also continue its attempts to restore the Salt Flats as much as possible, with the end goal of once again having a 13-mile course to race on.
Creative Commons photo via hedrives on Flickr!