Bonneville 400: So Close!

Bonneville 400: So Close!

Bonneville 400 Breaks 400kph BarrierThe Bonneville 400 attempts got ever closer on Wednesday when Alan van der Merwe broke the 400kph barrier, setting a speed of 400.459kph at 0721 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Unfortunately, to officially set the record, the team needed to do a similar speed on the return run, but only managed an aggregate speed of 393.613kph.

Alan van der Merwe said:

Although we were happy yesterday with 392kph, 400 has always been the magical number, and having done it in one direction, it must be possible to do it in both.

The team are delighted at having set another record, but will make further attempts as they refine the gear ratios on the 2005 race-legal BAR Honda.


  • technically it may be race ‘legal’. but, as any one can see – it doesn’t have a back wing. so what’s the point?

  • No, you’re right it has no rear wing. That thing sticking up is a fly-by-wire rudder. All the rear wing on an F1 car does is glue the rear wheels to the ground. It actually slows the car down in a straight line, but it does provide grip for the drive wheels and stability.

    As far as I can see, this isn’t too far away from a standard 2005 car in Monza trim.

  • They explain their choice for a fin on their web site ( and also mention rudder is fixed for the record attempt, since that would make it an illigal feature on a F1 car..

    I thought it was nice to see that they run a (obviously faster) F1 car in North America for this record (attempt), while they supply the engines for the Indy series. This brings up the current conflict in F1: Do you want more competitive racing or cutting-edge technological advancement? In my view FIA needs to find a (difficult) balance without killing what makes this sport _the_ absolute top in car racing!

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