Bonneville Speed Week could be canceled because participants have nowhere to race

Bonneville Salt Flats
Ronan Glon
The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) could be forced to cancel the annual Bonneville Speed Week for the second year in a row. Enthusiasts from all over the world are eager to travel out to the Utah desert to put their latest machines to the test, but surveyors say that there’s nowhere for them to race.

Last year, Speed Week was canceled because heavy rains caused a thick layer of mud to run down from nearby mountains, turning the parts of the Salt Flats where races are typically held into a quagmire. SCTA is facing a similar issue this year, and relocating the courses — including the nine-mile tracks needed for intrepid racers who want to hit 500 mph — is easier said than done because the Flats have been steadily shrinking for the past couple of years.

Scientists disagree on why the Flats are getting smaller. Many point the finger at the local mining industry, which has been drawing salt from the region since the early 1900s, while some claim that it’s simply a natural phenomenon. “The Salt Flats are an immensely complicated system that no one fully understands,” summed up Bill White, a retired geologist who worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

What nearly everyone agrees on is that the Salt Flats are getting thinner. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the crust used to be anywhere between two to three feet thick in the 1950s, and it’s currently no more than two inches thick.

Many have looked into moving Speed Week to another venue altogether. While land speed records can be set in the desert or on air strips, the Salt Flats are unique because they allow organizers to hold major international events and they make it possible for racers to safely decelerate from extremely high speeds.

“If we could take it somewhere else, people would have already looked there. We need thickness, length, purity. That’s what we’re battling for right now,” explained Dennis Sullivan, the president of the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association

The SCTA will decide whether to cancel Speed Week by July 22nd. If the event is held, it will kick off on August 8th.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Start your engines: ‘CTR: Crash Team Racing’ remaster is probably coming

CTR: Crash Team Racing, Sony's original answer to Mario Kart, seems to be getting remastered for current generation consoles. An announcement is planned for The Game Awards and comes on the heels of the Crash N. Sane Trilogy.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.