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Henkel and its Loctite® line of adhesives and sealants recently returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, hoping to help racers break more world land speed records under the hot desert sun. During the fierce competition, virtually every vehicle relied upon Loctite products to enhance performance and ensure reliability in the extreme conditions of the arid, overheated salt pan.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah. Stretching over 30,000 acres, the area is a fragile resource located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. The Bonneville Salt Flats and the Great Salt Lake are the remains of ancient Lake Bonneville. Wind and water combine to create the flat surface of salt. Each winter, a shallow layer of standing water floods the surface of the salt flats. During spring and summer, the water slowly evaporates while winds smooth the surface into a vast, nearly perfect flat plain.
The salt flats’ potential for racing was first recognized in 1896 by W.D. Rishel, who was scouting a bicycle race course from New York to San Francisco. After he returned home, Rishel convinced a local daredevil named Teddy Tezlaff to go to Bonneville and race automobiles on it. After several years of testing and development, Tezlaff drove his car to an official record speed of 141.73 mph in 1914.
This is the second year that Loctite sponsored this invitation-only competition between the fastest cars and motorcycles in the world. At the 2010 event, four racing teams shattered standing world land speed records using streamlined vehicles that traveled at speeds of 280 to over 400 mph. At the end of the five-day racing flight, a record that had stood for 45 years had fallen. In a highly emotional race, Charles Nearburg sped to a two-way average of 414.316 mph in a naturally-aspirated streamlined race car called the Spirit of Rett. The car was named after his son, an avid car enthusiast who lost his long battle with cancer at the age of 21.
This year, the Spirit of Rett broke a land speed record for the second time. It is the same car as last year, but this time used a different engine. In addition, two two-wheeled motorbikes broke records at this year’s event.
“We love our sponsorship of Cook’s Bonneville Shootout because it shows the world just how tough Loctite adhesives and sealants really are,” said Mike Shannahan, Henkel’s director of marketing for the North American general industry business. “Loctite products, especially our threadlockers, hold up under unbelievably intense conditions during these races and never fail. From the moment our team arrives at the event, we actively assist all the race teams and the teams really appreciate our help and support throughout the Shootout.”