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Higher Education

The college teams lined up with their cars on the Bonneville Salt Flats for a group photo.

The college teams lined up with their cars on the Bonneville Salt Flats for a group photo.

The idea is to build a car that will reach a higher speed than anything else in its class. There are a lot of classes to race in on the Bonneville Salt Flats and each of the college teams that competed at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Assoc.’s “World of Speed” event in 2012 hoped that it could set the record in its class.

The team from Utah State (farthest left in the photo) ran the blue B100 bio-diesel powered car. The school’s Department of Science and Engineering was responsible for building the car. Which ran in the 46-61 cubic inch Diesel Streamliner class.

Second from the left in our photo is the Brigham Young University No. 546 streamliner that was powered by hundreds of power tool batteries. It ran in E/IS class where the record speed was 155.779 mph.

The red Pontiac Firebird No. 884 was one of our cars from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis. It ran in A/FALT class. The A indicates 440 to 500 cid. The F indicates Fuel and the ALT indicates Altered. We were shooting for the 200 MPH Club, though we didn’t expect to get near the class record of 248.066 mph. Driver Dave Sarna got it up to 193 mph, before some parts went flying.

The green 454-powered El Camino from Utah Valley University was car No. 396. It competed in AA/CBGC class, where the record was 222.501. The car came out of the college’s Automotive Department and was a big-block powerhouse. Unfortunately, the kids from UVU were wrenching on the car most of the time. It was being a little moody.

The last car was Fox Valley Tech’s 130-mph class Camaro, which really ran well and did its job. Everyone who drove the car in quest of a 130-mph license wound up with one. But the quest for the highest speed in each class was just a small part of colleges racing at Bonneville. The real idea of the schools racing was to give the students a real world education in teamwork and sportsmanship. It was definitely a learning experience.

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