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Author Topic: Northwest Land Speed Racing  (Read 7099 times)
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YAG
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« on: July 10, 2007, 05:44:01 PM »

I'm looking into getting land use permits for the Alvord Desert dry lake bed in southeast Oregon, and need to get a feeler for how many people would be interested in making a land speed event happen there.  There are a lot of guys in the pacific northwest that would like to get into land speed racing, but have no top speed venue to race at.

I haven't been able to turn up much on past events held there, but the info I found about lake bed, and the response I got from the BLM when I checked with them earlier today, are both very promising.  We would have to figure something out for timing equipment and representation by a recognized timing association if we want to do this for records, and I don't have much of an idea with where to start on that, so any input would be great.

Here is the wikipedia page on the Alvord Desert, hopefully it gives you a good idea of what we will have access to if land use permits get authorized for an event.
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donpearsall
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 07:17:38 PM »

It is pretty remote, with no facilities close by. If a record sanctioning body like the FIM, AMA or SCTA were to hold events there, it would be great for those in the Northwest and Canada. I'd participate if an event were held there!

Don
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YAG
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 12:54:21 AM »

Yeah, it is pretty remote, but it is the only venue I have been able to come up with in this area.

Last year, I contacted the officials at Grant County Airport in Moses Lake, Washington as it is a rarely used airport with a 13.5k foot strip, but they said due to usage restrictions, they couldn't do it for risk of losing federal funding.  That was the only other place up here that is suitable for any kind of land speed racing.

If anyone has any information on past events held at Alvord, it would help a lot towards getting things on track... the BLM said that the main obstacle will be searching records to see what environmental studies have been done in regards to any past record attempts or events.

I know this is a long shot at this point with everything that will have to be done to get an event up and running, but in the spirit of going fast, I think it should be tried.  Adding another venue to the limited list currently available will open doors for people that were previously unable to do so, and will help grow the LSR community.
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JackD
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 03:47:18 AM »

Alvord is generally too soft to support a wheel driven vehicle without a drastic reduction in speed.
A large event would use up the surface so quickly because you would not be able to run another pass without making a deep new wheel track each time.
It is similar for most dry lakes including Black Rock.
When they ran Muroc so many years ago, the cars were going just over a hun and still the surface was torn up.
Any listed airstrip under FAA rules/money can not be used for automotive events.
You can get away with it until you don't, then they prevail.
We lost 3 Drag Strips in So Cal to the rule, 1 with a 50 year history.
More running days on the salt if permitted by the weather is the next solution.
Fracturing the sport with so many letter name sanctions is a disservice to the racer.   wink
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 09:15:27 AM »

 grin

« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 01:54:16 PM by LVMAXX » Logged
JackD
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 10:23:38 AM »

All of that has been addressed before and the success so far is what you have.
A number of credentialed people are working on the unity of the sanction efforts right now.
Wider availability of the Salt and the common direction of the users will do a lot to accommodate the interest and promote the competition.
The post WW2 Drag racing design was based on the availability of unused training strips and that is about the time the FAA instituted the rule about the other active facilities.
If you wish to find out more about the FAA control over air fields, call their regional office and also the local Airport manager.
Restricted use of FAA controlled facilities is limited to permitted airshows and some have featured an automotive event under the carpet.
Walk softly so as not to ruin it for those that are getting by with it. wink
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 11:32:02 AM »

Half Moon Bay Drag Strip was run on a taxiway and did not close down the main runway. The local population, however, did not want such antisocial activity in their vicinity. I enjoyed going to Muroc and would go to a different lake within 700 miles, for the experience.
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dwarner
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 11:47:31 AM »

Don't quote me, but I believe quite a few of the members of SCTA/BNI are not happy with Mike Cook on a private meet?

Why is that? Sources?

DW
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JackD
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 11:55:13 AM »

Any temporary restricted use of an aircraft facility comes under the control; of the FAA.
Inyokern is a recent example of a 50+ year history that operated until somebody complained.
Multiple surveys of available space in the US have been conducted over the years with no real success.
SCTA had BLM permission to use a dry lake adjacent to the Army desert Training Base until the Army got wind of it and plowed the access road outside their area because they didn't want the event there.
Race vehicle testing was also conducted on the dry lake near Stateline Ca. / Nev., the surface was found to be less than ideal and the CHP objected to the potential of a large event causing a distraction to the adjacent highway users.
El Mirage is falling victim to the growth in the area and with it comes the lowering of the water table.
It ain't getting any easier. wink
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 12:16:26 PM »

Breedlove told us about the Alvord Desert when we starting the streamliner in late 2002.  He had been there and told us the surface was good but not long enough for him.  I flew up there on Thanksgiving weekend 2002.  At that time the surface condition was very good and much different from Black Rock it had a hard white alkali looking surface and no dust.  It looked like there was about 6-8 miles usable. The southern end was wet at that time.  There was only one family there.  They we from northern Oregon and were riding ATV and Motorcycles. They told us that there was almost never anyone there and conditions could range from wet to dry and dusty.

The thing I have found with all the dry lakes in northern Nevada is the conditions can change fairly rapidly depending on the weather conditions and season.  I have ridden off road bikes on most of the dry lakes north and east of Black Rock Desert and there are many of them ranging in size from 1 -15 miles long.  Once we camped on the west side of Black Rock and rode east across the lake that was dry and dusty except for the Quinn river that had some water in it.  We continued cross country over the Jackson Mountains for about 35 miles east and then came back. A rain storm had passed by and when we tried to cross Black Rock three hours later we were in mud at least 12 -18 inched deep at the eastern edge.

Another time one of my tenants that was building a Cadillac powered twin engine streamliner was looking for a place to test.  He had tried Black Rock and just dug in when he tried to run, He had heard about a dry lake south east of Winnemucca I think it is called Blue Wing Flats.  I flew him up and the surface was great similar to Black Rock but much harder and no dust. I remembered riding across it on my motorcycle previously and it was dusty at that time.  He loaded up the streamliner and left about a week later.  I flew up and met him there.  The conditions had completely changed it was hard enough to run on but so dusty that he could not see because of the dust getting into the cockpit.  Made one run and went home.

I donít know what would be the right time for the Alvord and running an event there would be a crap shoot but it could be good if conditions were right. Itís a very remote location so you would need to bring everything you could possibly need.  The people we met on the Alvord said there is a gas station and I believe they said a small store just up the highway but we didnít check it out. Denio Nevada is about 70 miles south and has food lodging and gas.

As for running on FAA airstrips it just depends on whoís running it. We did some testing in Nevada and we had the choice of several air fields.  The one we used was just repaved 75 feet wide by 7500 feet long courtesy of the FAA. The Taxiway was brand new 50 X 7500 feet.  All most all of these rural airstrips are run by private operators that receive funds by the FAA and they have pretty much total control of the airport.  We spent all day there three times and never had a single aircraft land or take off.  We monitor the radio in case some one wants to use the airstrip.  Unfortunately this airfield has been taken over by a freight carrier for hub operation in the area and is no longer available to us.  There are a number of other locations though available in Nevada.       
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Glen
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 12:32:36 PM »

I am wondering how far you have looked into what it takes to put on a meet. First permits, BLM and local, next is safety /emergency services and contact with a hospital to handle racing emergencys. Timimg equipment and back up supplies. Cones, marker flags, patrols and radios. It is not cheap to gather the equipment required for any venue. When ECTA came to us it took them about 2 years of planning and buying the basics to get started. We had many conversations with them. The list goes on and on. It's a large gathering and a lot of dependable people to assist doing it. There are also the safety rules and records, whose rule book and records are you planning to use.
Don't want to discourage you just feeding you some information.
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Glen
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 12:47:53 PM »

Alvord was used in 1976 from the SMI Motivator campaign, Kitty O'Neil (Hamilton) run there the Three Wheeler Rocket car from Bill Frederick, up to speed of 620 mph.
This was a very light, fast acceleration, thrust powered car.
Alvord can be like Black Rock - there you need a vacuum cleaner and 300 Chinese to get the dust(mud and sand) off. to get a proper surface. In the 80's Nolan White tried there his streamliner with no success.
Alvord is not so bad with dust, bad the Alkali is more worst than at Black Rock. Alkali is health critical, especially when it's in the air and you breath it in....this will be when you run there wheel powered vehicle.
For safety standard at a real meet, you got only 5 to 6 miles, if you like to make bonzai runs, you can get 10 miles......but than you will get not the insurance for the meet......
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Pork Pie

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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 01:01:18 PM »

Pork only mentions the Chinese because their weight to foot area on the average is less likely to get stuck.
The Germans on the other hand would just march on until they disappeared.
As for the Nolan adventure, it took 30mph off the top speed of my motor home at Black Rock and McCarty stuck a 3 wheeler on what appeared to be a dry surface, but only on the tippy top.
It was like driving across an apple pie.  wink
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 01:38:40 PM »

Pork only mentions the Chinese because their weight to foot area on the average is less likely to get stuck.
The Germans on the other hand would just march on until they disappeared.
As for the Nolan adventure, it took 30mph off the top speed of my motor home at Black Rock and McCarty stuck a 3 wheeler on what appeared to be a dry surface, but only on the tippy top.
It was like driving across an apple pie.  wink
The Chinese...only, because there are enough.....so there is no problem to borrow some of them......

Black Rock is in some areas extremely soft, especially in areas where the lake is too close to the top surface.
If you follow not the "driveway" you can get in trouble....but this only on the outside and in the entrance, coming from Gerlach. The Center where Craig and Andy run it's normally very hard...if you can call dry mud as hard.....
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Pork Pie

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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 09:22:05 PM »

Thanks everybody for the replies.

I know it's a big task, but how manageable it is all depends on who, and how many people would be willing to make it happen, just like any other meet.  Coming up with all of the equipment and the finances needed to get something like this up and running is also a big task, but again, it all depends on who is interested and what can be brought in.  If enough people want it to happen, then it will... assuming the government goons give it the nod as well.

I really appreciate the input, and thanks for taking the time to post on a thread started by a "noob" to the board.  It definitely shows the character of the people here.  Please keep any info you have coming as this is by far the best foundation I have found when looking into making something happen!
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