COLUMBUS—Ohio State’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet team has successfully chased down yet another international record for electric land speed vehicles.
On Friday, August 22, 2014 professional driver Roger Schroer guided the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3) to an average two-way speed of 212.615 miles per hour. The new record set by the VBB-3 is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the worldwide motorsports governing body, in Category A Group VIII Class 8. This is a new competition category for the team, which had its most recent record-breaking vehicle (2010) set a record in FIA’s Category A Group VIII Class 4.
The VBB-3 was required to make two speed runs, one each in opposite directions and within 60 minutes, in order to be considered for the international record. While the record is officially determined by averaging the speed of the two runs in the middle of the eight mile course, the fastest time the VBB-3 exited timed middle mile—known as the flying mile—was at 270 miles per hour.
“This was an excellent first outing for the vehicle. The team faced daily trials but pushed forward,” says David Cooke, mechanical engineering graduate student and Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 team leader.
Although the planned debut of the VBB-3 was slated for Speedweek, August 9-15 in Wendover, Utah, rain forced the cancelation of the 100th anniversary racing event sanctioned by the Southern California Timing Association. Despite the cancelation, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet team remained on site for a private event and secured the newest record. While additional rain and high winds during the private event prevented the team from making as many runs as it would have liked, the team and vehicle prevailed. Due to the rains the race track was reduced from the typical six and one half mile course to less than three and one half miles.
“Although our planned 11 days of racing was reduced to three days—and on a much shorter and slicker course—the team continued the quest for speed,” says Cooke. "We completed excellent test runs, learned a great deal and are ready to come back and go even faster. All of the reports from the driver and the data that we’ve processed show that this is by far the most capable vehicle we’ve ever built.”
The electric streamliner has been designed and built by undergraduate and graduate students over the past four years at the university’s Center for Automotive Research in partnership with Monaco-based electric vehicle manufacturer, Venturi Automobiles which lends its 10-year expertise in electric vehicles and significant sponsorship funding to the students. It is propelled by two custom electric motors developed by Venturi Automobiles, and is powered by two megawatts of lithium ion batteries produced by A123 Systems.
Giorgio Rizzoni, the team advisor and director of the university’s Center for Automotive Research: “The Buckeye Bullet experience is a unique training opportunity and proving ground for our brightest and most dedicated students, many of whom have moved on to successful careers in industry at companies such as Ford, Boeing, A123 and Lockheed Martin.”
The team has set numerous speed records during the past decade. In 2004 Buckeye Bullet 1, which ran on nickel metal hydride batteries, set a national land speed record with an average time of 315 miles per hour (506.9 kilometers per hour). Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered land speed electric vehicle, set the international record of 303 miles per hour (487.6 kilometers per hour) in 2009. Then in 2010, Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5 set the record for world’s fastest electric vehicle at 307.6 miles per hour (495 kilometers per hour), powered by lithium ion batteries.
“We can’t wait to get back on the track and continue the journey to 400 miles per hour with an electric vehicle,” comments Cooke.
Photos: Top) Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Credit: Denis Boussard // Venturi Automobiles. Driver Roger Schroer discusses vehicle performance with student leaders on the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 team. Credit: Denis Boussard // Venturi Automobiles.
About Venturi Buckeye Bullet team
Based out of The Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet team’s mission is to provide unique engineering challenges for students. The team strives to provide valuable, hands-on experience, creating some of the best young engineers in the world. The goal is to promote and represent sponsors professionally and with integrity, aiming to bring together great minds and new technologies to overcome the most difficult challenges. This student team pushes the envelope of electric vehicle technology and in so doing hope to change public perception of electric vehicles. Mission: prove that green technologies of the future will be both fun to drive and fast! More: go.osu.edu/VBBullet. Follow the team on Twitter at @OSUCtrAutoRsrch, @Venturi and using #VBB3.
About Venturi Automobiles:
Venturi Automobiles was founded in 1984 in France as a sports car manufacturer. Purchased in 2001 by Gildo Pallanca Pastor, it focuses on innovation in the field of electric vehicles by harnessing the most advanced technological solutions in this area. Venturi expertise extends from urban cars to high-performance vehicles. More: venturi.fr.
About The Ohio State University:
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.