So salt bug has bit and now you want to compete at Speed Week.
How hard can it be?
Well there is a lot that you need to know and to consider and this is the best place to start.
Just remember there are no silly questions, we welcome any comments or queries you have. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Previous experience
Land speed racing is different, different to circut racing, different to drag racing or for that matter any other form of motorsport you have previously undertaken. Add to this the heat and disorientation from being in the middle of a salt lake and it's very different. And because of this the rules and regulations are different and have been formulated from many years of dry lakes racing not only here in Australia but also the USA. After every incident there is a review process, what worked, what didn't how can we make it better and safer, for the competitors, for the officals.
As you will begin to understand, because of these unique circumsatances it is very difficult, especially for existing race cars to easily be set up or transformed for DLRA rules. There is not much track based safety equipment that will readily transfer to land speed racing.
One thing that is different with Speed Week is that each entrant is obliged to spend half a day volunteering to help run the event. So you need to be prepared to pitch in, many hands make light work.
2. Vehicle selection
For most people they will have already decided if they want to compete in a car or a bike as they will either already own a vehicle they want to use or have a preference which is fine. The first thing to remember is that there are a multitude of classes for cars and bikes to compete in. So the first thing to do is select a class and this is where you can give yourself every chance of achieving a record one day.
Once you reckon you have your class sorted the next thing to do is to check the current record for your class. There are many classes that will already have a current record and if it is a popular class the record will usually be very high, there are other classes that are not so popular and they will have a much lower record speed or will be open, that is there has been no record achieved for that class. In the first instance, these can be the classes you want to look at.
You may find that you will go back and review the class you selected and change to a class with a more achieveable record.
Here is a list of records for cars and trucks and motorcycles
NOTE: there are many vehicles that we don't permit including tractors, hovercraft, go karts, some 3 wheel vehicles. So if it's something out of the ordinary please contact us first.
You need to download and read the DLRA Rulebook.
3. Safety Equipment
Motor racing is dangerous, land speed racing is more dangerous. You are competing on a surface which is slipperly and very abrasive in a place that is very remote at speeds that are usually above that achieveable at a normal racetrack.
Read the safety requirements in the rulebook very carefully, you will be required to comply with these rules to be able to run at Speed Week. This includes all your personal safety equipment as well as those modifications to your vehicle.
Having said that there is provision for exemptions, but these are usually given at the salt and only if they are of a minor nature and may require a reclassification of the vehicle. It's a long way to go and not get a run.
- For motorcycles there is a number of safety items that you have to fit to your bike and this can be dependent upon the speed of the bike as well. This is covered in Section 3 of the rulebook.
- For cars there is much more significant modifications to be madefor all cars, including; roll cage, fire suppression, seat, seat belts, arm restraint, steel scattershield and much more. This is covered in Section 2 of the rulebook.
A very good companion to the rulebook is the vehicle inspection page which has been put together by our Chief Car Inspector for your information. I would strongly recommend you read or download this.
If your car is likely to exceed speeds of 175mph you also need to read the Race Car Engineering guidelines which will help you stay straight and right way up.
It is also very advisable to get to know and talk to your State Delegate or Class Representative they are only too happy to answer any questions you may have.
4. Entry and Licence
To compete at Speed Week you need to be a financial DLRA member (join here) and have submitted an entry form. First time entrants or rookies will receive a DLRA licence and a vehicle log book when they present at the registration caravan in the pits on the salt at Speed Week. (No we're not going to send it to you because you'll loose it or leave it at home).
When you join the DLRA you will be sent a copy of the current DLRA Rulebook.
5. What to do next
Read the Rookie Orientation Booklet
Most of the other information is explained on the Advice for Drivers, Constructors and Race Teams page. Including racing rules, more information about entry, arm bands, vehicle inspection, equipment exemption, courses, timing slips, records, operational plan, club rules, alchol and drug testing, rescue and medical attention, catering, fuel, money, communications, and accomodation.
Well, there you go!
See you on the Salt.
Learn More ...
- DLRA Rule Book
- Vehicle Inspection
- Push car / Support Vehicle
- Starters Instructions
- Track Layout / Marking
- Rookie Orientation
- Forms and Documents
- Technical Inspection
- B-1 Scrutineers Car Inspection & Classification Form
- B-2 Scruitneers Motorcycle Inspection & Classification Form
- Race Car Engineering