Land Speed Racing At El MirageJune 24th, 2010 by admin
Since 1948, the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) has held speed trials on the dry lake bed of El Mirage, CA. The course is a 1.3-mile drag strip on the dirt. Racers are trying to beat a top speed record that has been previously set.
I have been going to the dry lake bed since I was a kid with my dad (an old hot rodder) and I have been a huge fan for just as long. The SCTA has classes for everything from a blown roadster to a 50cc motorcycle to experimental jet cars. This past year, I decided I needed to race on the legendary course.
Now, my dream ride would be the vintage roadster class but, due to my finances, it’s not possible so I bought an old 100cc Yamaha on March 27, 2010 and started modifying it to run at El Mirage. This was not an easy task due to the very strict rules and safety regulations I had to meet, and I only had 6 weeks until the opening event on May 14, 2010.
I finished the bike with time to spare, loaded her up, and headed to El Mirage. The first stop was tech inspection. Now, I had built the bike to specs following the rules in their rule book; the only problem I had was a fuel line that was not to spec, so it had to be changed. From there I had to go through a 2-part rookie orientation, which I passed and got my rookie license.
Fast forward to Saturday morning where I got in line to run for my first time, a lifelong dream ready to come true! So I headed off the line – 1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd gear, I could see the finish line 100 ft up ahead as I feel 4th gear growing. I started to fan the clutch to get the RPMs up then, BOOM, she let go. As they say in NASCAR, “I done blowed ‘er up.”
So I had to turn out never making a full pass through the timing lights. I was a little bummed but even not making it on my first run is still a memory I will have for the rest of my life! The next event is June 13th. She should be rebuilt and ready to run, bigger and better!