After five days of pushing their motorcycle streamliner to new limits on the salt flats of Bonneville, the TOP 1 ACK Attack team achieved what it came to do - owner Mike Akatiff, driver Rocky Robinson and crew toppled the existing absolute FIM motorcycle land speed record with a blistering 360.913 mph run. The TOP 1 Oil-sponsored team set the record Friday morning, September 26 at 8:58 MST. Witnessed by an official of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), and now subject to ratification, the new world record of 360.913 mph will also be eligible for the Guiness Book of World Records. It shatters the previous 350.884mph record set by Denis Manning and Chris Carr in 2006.
The world record run was the highlight of the first annual TOP 1 Oil World Land Speed Shootout taking place this past week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah. Three leading motorcycle land speed racing teams, the TOP 1 ACK Attack team, Team Kuryakyn, and Team E-Z Hook took to the salt on Monday, September 22, to begin competing for the title of world's fastest motorcycle. Throughout the meet Sam Wheeler's E-Z Hook and Mike Akatiff's TOP 1 ACK Attack streamliners came close to setting a new record numerous times, but it wasn't until the morning of September 26 that the TOP 1 ACK Attack team was able reach top speeds in consecutive runs and earn the new absolute motorcycle land speed record.
"What a fantastic conclusion to a great week of racing," said Mike Akatiff, designer and owner of the TOP 1 Oil ACK Attack. Akatiff, the founder and president of San Jose, Calif.-based ACK Technologies, is all too familiar with the challenges and heartbreaks of land speed racing, where the extreme speeds place huge stresses on both men and machines. "We struggled on occasion early in the week, came close to breaking the record several times, and then all the elements aligned Friday morning." With salt and climate conditions excellent and the 900-hp ACK Attack tuned to perform flawlessly, driver Rocky Robinson piloted the streamliner into the history books.
The TOP 1 ACK Attack team was the first to break the 16 year Easy Rider record by going 342mph in 2006. Two days later Denis Manning and Chris Carr broke their record. The new world record is expected to be ratified by Bonneville Nationals, Inc. and the Southern California Timing Association, as well as the FIM.
A Rare Milestone in Land Speed Racing
The TOP 1 Oil ACK Attack joins an elite group of legendary teams who have conquered the challenges of the Bonneville Salt Flats through a combination of leading-edge racing technology and good-old fashioned determination. Prior to the 2006 world record set by Manning and Carr, only two world records were set in 42 years. Before BUB #7 succeeded, the record book lay unopened for 16 years. That's how long it took Dave Campos and his Easy Rider team to establish their world record of 322-mph, besting the old 318-mph record set by Don Vesco 16 years earlier. Vesco had spent a decade on the salt before he had made it into the record books.
Charles Hennekam, the official on-site FIM observer, said: "We are thrilled about this incredible new world record, set just two years after the current milestone was set - that's an historic achievement indeed. On behalf of FIM, I congratulate Mike, Rocky and the team on success, along with all the other world record breaking teams this week. Land speed racing requires enormous resources and technical sophistication, passion and above all perseverance. Given the dedication of land speed racing professionals, we expect to see even more competitors return to Bonneville in 2009 to challenge ACK Attack's title."
TOP 1 Oil ACK Attack: A Technology Showcase
To hurtle down an endless-looking stretch of salt at speeds exceeding that of a jet airplane while surrounded by nothing more than carbon fiber and a roll-cage for protection makes land speed racing a sport for the strong of heart. Looking more like a sleek airplane fuselage than a conventional
motorcycle, the TOP 1 streamliner is about 20 feet long. Beneath its carbon-fiber skin, a chrome-moly tube frame links the two wheels, cockpit,
and powertrain, which features two heavily modified Hayabusa motorcycle engines with a combined displacement of about 2.6 liters. The Top-1 ACK Attack streamliner rides on ultra-high-speed Mickey Thompson automotive tires - seven inches wide in front and nine inches at the rear.
You can also follow the week's events and see unofficial results through last Thursday, by clicking on the News tab at www.toponeoil.com.