Bonneville Speed Week 2012

The Yankee Engineuity Express starts down the flats reaching 153 MPH.
 
Another
day full of engines, salt, and speed! Bonneville Speed Week is like nothing
else. Men and women spend the year building and perfecting their vehicles in
hopes to squash land speed records on the fastest course in the world. Racers
of all types lined up despite the wetter-than-usual salt this year. A storm
had hit the night before, closing two of the three courses, but had not managed to dampen any spirits. Spectators, racers and photographers were as giddy as
school children; something about loud and fast cars that gets people excited.
Those invested in the ‘projectiles’ wait anxiously while docked at the
starting line, waiting for their signal. Large trucks peel out as they
push the 
aerodynamic cars down the course until they can reach
third gear pace. The crowd waits for the punch as the driver finally picks up
his own speed and quickly disappears into the mirage near the edge of the horizon.
Many come to show off what they’ve been working on during the past year, revving engines and lifting hoods ready to share their life story to any passerby curious enough to strike up a conversation. Those who have been coming back since the beginning, however, are there for only one reason; to get some speed! 

 

This car waited hours at the starting line, only to pull off at mile 2 after reaching 161 MPH.
The salt flats are aptly named, as there is no shade to speak of. You have to make your own if you want to be out of the sun.

 

Some of the competitors have used their life savings to build the kind of car required to reach speeds of up to 400 MPH. 

 

Speed Week is a perfect time to show off your pride and joy, even if it never races for timed speed.



Photographically speaking, I kept my Singh-Ray warming filter on my 17-40mm and my Vari-N-Duo (warming filter and neutral density filter combo) on my 70-200mm. This allowed me to get shots that weren’t completely blown out by the bright scene and play around with a slower shutter speed (see first photo). As all races are held during the day, the bright harsh light is always a factor when shooting Speed Week. It just becomes part of the scene. I would definitely suggest a warming polarizer of some sort. It make just that extra bit of difference in such harsh lighting.

 

People from all over the world come to see speed records fall at the salt flats.

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