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Oct 01, 2012 - 05:19 PM
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World Speed Record: Poteet And Main / Bonneville
Posted by: newsla on Oct 01, 2012 - 05:12 PM
World Speed Record: Poteet And Main / Bonneville

On Monday September 17, 2012, veteran driver George Poteet, from Memphis, Tennesee driving the Poteet and Main "Speed Demon" Streamliner,during the Mike Cook Shootout at the Bonneville Salt flats in Utah, set a new FIA International Category A, Group 1, Class 10 records in the kilometer and mile distances ... subject to FIA (or ASN) homologation.


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Poteet (a driver with more runs over 400 than anyone in Bonneville history) piloted the sleek Speed Demon to an incredible 439.562 miles per hour (that's 707.408 kilometers per hour for the metric among us) average* speed for the measured mile.

While 439 mph or 700+ km/h makes almost no sense to normal drivers ... Would everyone please stand by for a VERY clear and easy-to-understand statement:

That makes the Poteet and Main Speed Demon the fastest-ever wheel-driven, piston-engined car in history. No other piston-engined car has ever achieved this speed.

The above statement sums up thousands upon thousands of hours in the shop, thousands more on the phone lining up parts, sponsors, volunteer crew people, and the dollars (lots of them) that it takes to even attempt to set a land speed world record.

This sleek California-built projectile is not a jet plane with the wings clipped off and a J79 engine, rocket, or turbine pushing it along. This car used a conventional 8-cylinder piston engine and clawed its way over the slipprey salt surface to that 400+ mph record speed by powering the drive wheels, just like a conventional automobile. And the team's motto/chatchphrase says it all: DESTINATION 500 MPH.

What Poteet and Main did is considered by the experts to be the toughest possible land speed mark to set because the rules take the average speed of a two-way run as the record. As the car breaks the lights at the end of the first run, the clock starts and the team has exactly one hour to slow the car down, stop it, turn it around, refuel, check every system in the car, repack the drag chutes, drain (the now 300-degree) engine coolant, inspect and either change or re-pressure the tires, get it pushed over to the starting line ready to race, and then finally start back on another full-speed run the other way for the average (record) speed! It's a herculean task under the best of circumstances and that single hour to just about rebuild a race car has put paid to many a promising record run over the years!

Ron Main, from Canoga Park, California, spoke about the team's exclusive reliance on Lucas Oil Products used in the Speed Demon's 2,500-horsepower turbocharged V-8 engine, 7-speed gear box, and final drive. "Oil is the life blood of an engine," said the multi-record-holding car builder. "And the Lucas off-the-shelf products that we use like their Racing Only 20/50 synthetic motor oil are critical to the engine health, power, and reliability that's needed to set this sort of international record." He continued, "We run our entire powertrain on a special dyno for the equivalent a full top speed run, that's long minutes ... not just seconds. When we tear an engine down to check it out after the tests, there's no wear, the engine looks like it had nerver run. That's just one of the reasons that we rely on Lucas products."

And may we add: The Poteet & Main Speed Demon has won the Top Speed Trophy for the last 4 consecutive years. Every year that Speed Week has been run since 1949, HOT ROD magazine has issued the Top Time Trophy, the award for the single fastest pass of the meet, regardless of if the pass is a record or not. For teams like these guys, this is the ultimate prize for Speed Week.

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