Fort Worth based Land Speed Racers, Team Triumph Texas got off to a ripping start this year but unfortunately, did not “bring home the gold”.
Pre-trip dyno runs were encouraging with “more than enough” horsepower and major de-bugging accomplished.
The dual Triumph engine, turbocharged, methanol burning partially streamlined bike holds it’s class record at 238-MPH and the single engine version holds a class record at 202-MPH. The “big” bike has achieved one way runs as fast as 261+ MPH.
Bike owner/builder Ed Mabry, rider Jon Minonno, crew chief “Packer” Wade and other crewmembers were encouraged by salt conditions but various “salt gremlins” such as high winds, ruts in the track, and tuning & mechanical problems prevented new records from being set.
The “big” bike ran as fast as 224-MPH with several over 200-MPH runs but couldn’t put a “big one” together. The “little” bike, which has run about 210-MPH was having severe overheating problems and only ran 185-MPH.
Disappointing? Sure. But remember these bikes and these Texans hold a great number of official records, unofficial one-way records and many Top Bike Speed of Meet awards. The bikes, and their builder and rider are members of the exclusive “200 MPH Club”.
In the immortal words of the Bonneville Racer: “Just wait ‘til next year!”
Dave Howe for
Team Triumph Texas
Where “We don’t care how the hell they do it in California, but they sure have a shorter drive home.”
Day by Day Race Results
Friday, 16 August:
Sorry to report there were no new records set this year. The dual engine may have Top Bike Time of the Meet at 224-MPH but not sure yet. None of the other bikes went faster but it will depend on how they score Top Time.
Wednesday saw problems with cross-winds followed by (lack of) power problems in the dual engine bike. They are still not sure what caused this, probably fuel mixture problems or ignition problems. Or as is frequently the case when you are trying to chase so many things at once, both.
Anyway, there were no runs made Thursday and TTT headed for home Friday.
The "melt down" as Ed described the single engine bike's problem earlier in the week was just serious overheating. Overcooling was an early problem with this bike so something is really amiss. Ed thinks they may have hurt the motor on the pre-trip dyno runs or the first run at the track when the overheating first showed.
The team asked me to thank all you friends and supporters and to remind you of the immortal words of the Land Speed Racer: "Just wait 'til next year".
Dave Howe for TTT
Where “We still don’t care how the hell they do it in California, but they sure have a shorter drive home.”
Thursday, 15 August:
Sounds like the Mid-Week Doldrums have set in at Bonneville...and Murphy is alive & well!
Yesterday the big dual engine bike's first run was again aborted due to high winds. This motorcycle is really stable - Jon described the handling as like being on a sled track with a bungee cord attached to the other end of the track. Unless the wind is blowing! This a large machine with lots of "sail" and is really affected by cross winds, especially if he is also experiencing lots of wheelspin. Wheelspin is constant on this bike but a "wet" track makes it worse. Trying to go straight while compensating for the wind, with 450 HP worth of wheelspin could get a little dicey! Jon is one of the most courageous racers I have ever seen but he is also one of the smartest and most experienced and he will not risk getting hurt and trashing the bike just to "prove something".
Anyway, along the left (West) side of the track, a few miles away is a line of low mountains. There is a gap in this line about mid-way, called...The Gap. There is often some level of wind blowing at Bonneville and it can be from any direction. When it is cross-track it usually, but not always changes direction at The Gap, sometimes at higher or lower velocity.
Sometimes it just stops. Sometimes it is dead calm at the Starting line and Big End (finish line) but blowing a gale at The Gap. The wind is one of the major variables in racing there and is always a challenge.
Yesterday's second run saw a serious lack of horsepower and the boys were last seen scratching their heads and twirling wrenches.
Let's hope they do better today...tomorrow is the last day!
Dave for TTT
Wednesday, 14 August:
Things are heating up at Bonneville, and I don't mean the 98-106F. daily air temp!
Yesterday on the first run of the dual-engine "big" bike, it was making a good run but "nosed over" in 4th gear at 207-MPH and wouldn't make power. Maybe a turbo waste-gate adjustment problem but it could have been something else. No damage done and the problem was fixed.
The "long track" layout at Bonneville is you start from mile 0, and are timed for average speed from the 2 to 2 1/4 mile marker, at the 3 mile marker, the 4 mile marker and a small "terminal speed" trap at the 4 mile. The bike was accelerating hard at the 2 1/4 trap and was timed at 224+. This was the fastest "2 1/4 time" they have run in several years, but....Jon encountered some ruts that got him out of shape and he had to back out of it...again.
Tomorrow we will know what they did today as the meet passes the mid-point. Keep your fingers crossed for them to "hang up a big one"!
One of the cars - Al Teague's streamliner - ran 405 yesterday. There are no jet or rocket powered vehicles at the SCTA meets, they are all piston engine, wheel driven. Teague's car has run 432+MPH and holds the unlimited record at 409.986MPH. Visit his Website at: http://www.alteague.com
Dave for TTT
Tuesday, 13 August:
The "turn-out" run of the single engine bike on Saturday was caused by a minor problem that they easily fixed and lined back up on Sunday morning. The bike was running better than 186-MPH on the first run Sunday when it experienced some type of engine failure that Ed described as a "melt down". They don't yet know what the problem was but suspect the engine may have been damaged by the dyno runs before they left. I'm sure if it is repairable at the track they will do so later in the week but for now they will concentrate their efforts on the dual engine bike. It was to have run today but it will be tomorrow before we know the results.
I can't remember the last time the boys didn't start the meet with some disaster or other only to come back strong at the end. Usually on the last run of the last day of the meet!
The SCTA site shows the highest records for the meet so far are 217 for a bike and 413 for a car. Don't know what the top one-way runs are. The cars that run over 350 are referred to as "Super Fast Cars". No kidding!
Keep your fingers crossed...
Monday, 12 August:
This is the first update for TTT 2002 - They arrived in Bendover, uh...Wendover, Utah on Thursday. Friday was Tech Inspection on the salt, followed by pit set-up. The pits became "hot" sometime later. By Friday night, everyone was sure to have had "gastric disturbance" from dining at the Taco Burger.
Ed is probably into his 2nd 6-pack of the week by now. This morning was the Riders/Drivers Meeting followed by the start of the meet about noon. The line of racers waiting to run today will stretch out of sight in one direction, then double back and disappear in the other direction. OK, I'm exaggerating but it seems like that. The line gets shorter all week as people blow-up, run out of spares and/or get records and go home. Late in the week you can go right to the starting line and GO!
But for now it is the absolute best car & bike show of REALLY FAST vehicles you have ever seen! The meet ends on Friday, August 16. Ed will be calling updates in to Jack Avery each evening and Jack will call me the next morning. I will get the update out to you that evening. It will be a little late that way but it's the best I can do. A full-time job is definitely the curse of the racing-drinking-goofing off man!
You may remember that Corbin Racing built a "world beater" two years ago to take away our "little" bike's "little" record of 200.249-MPH. They predicted success in only a few runs. Last year they thought they could do it with a few more runs. I just checked the Corbin website and they did not mention the bike or Bonneville. Don't know their status...maybe they decided it was harder than it looks?
This year Jon is wearing a new helmet-cam and intends to produce a video of what it looks like to go really, really, REALLY fast on a motorcycle. I can't wait! I will include a (hopefully) daily link to a Website you can visit to get more of the "Bonneville experience". For a great Introduction to racing & spectating at Bonneville, see: http://roadsters.com/bonneville/#Bonneville
This is really good.
Dave Howe for TTT
|Saturday, 10 Aug|
|Sunday, 11 Aug|
|Monday, 12 Aug|
|Tuesday, 13 Aug|
|Wednesday, 14 Aug|
|Thursday, 15 Aug|
Ed Mabry, Jon Minonno and David (Packmule) Wade
"World's Fastest "Real"
Team Triumph Texas