Essentially, all the rotating parts got confused abruptly ending the lives of engines with less than 5 cycles of operation. A tough pill to swallow, Treit clearly believes the Target550’s many destroyed parts are “Sacrifices to the BLM Management of salt.”
He is far from alone in this opinion.
Gone is the 1,500-mile round trip from the shop to Utah, replaced by the 23,000-mile sojourn to Australia’s Lake Gairdner. . , and back. More than 2,000+ hours of repairs were made before Target550 was loaded into 3 shipping containers. Treit loses the use of 50% of his shop tools, his racecar and dozens of spare parts for 5 months. The nominal 10-day commitment from team members has ballooned to 5 weeks for some. And the cost? Perhaps you have the heart to press him.
All of this precipitated by three seconds, when all four wheels of the 43-foot long, 9,000 pound streamliner were flicked into the air. People, just how badly do you think this team wants that world record?
RACING SURFACE REVEALS NEW SAFETY CHALLENGES
In 2019, the Target550 streamliner attempted speed runs in August and September. Both meets were well attended and both organizations did their best to groom the surface, but the tissue paper thin salt crust made the efforts akin to putting lipstick on a pig.
“For years we only need 2 or 3 days to prep a course,” revealed Utah Salt Flats Racing Association President Dennis Sullivan. “Now the surface demands 5 to 7 days to prep, more than double because we have to fill in so many holes and manipulate the granular salt into as smooth and hard racing surface as possible. It is so thin on the high-speed portion of the course that the polishing drag often picks the big chunks of thin salt crust surface as it passes over.”
“SpeedWeek had some 550 entries and at least half of them required the long, 5-mile course,” Treit observed. “Reviewing the results, I found less than 30 entries even attempted to run the long course. Our team was there to get a new driver some "seat time" at speeds less than 300 mph. Nonetheless, even at the slower speeds "rodeo bull" ride caused significant damage in less than three miles.”