The highly-anticipated world record event, Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout, gets underway in just a few days on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the US state of Utah. The participants’ goal is a clear one: to break the world land speed record for motorcycles (376.363mph, or 605.697km/h), which was set on 25th September 2010 by Rocky Robinson on a Suzuki Ack Attack.
Among the motorcycles officially registered for the world record attempt is the spectacular Castrol Rocket – the result of a sensational joint project between Castrol and Triumph. Rider Jason DiSalvo is the man in charge of steering the Castrol Rocket, which generates over 1,000hp courtesy of two 3-cylinder Triumph Rocket III turbo engines and Castrol Power1 4T 10W40 fully-synthetic engine oil.
“We are very proud to see our long and successful history in land speed records being rekindled in the exciting Castrol Rocket project,” says Donald Smith, Castrol’s Global Sponsorship Manager.
“We are very proud to see our long and successful history in land speed records being rekindled in the exciting Castrol Rocket project," says Donald Smith, Castrol’s Global Sponsorship Manager. "The Castrol Rocket is a masterpiece of engineering. We can't wait to see it run at Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout.”
“The heritage of our brands was built on pioneering spirit and high-tech engineering,” adds rider DiSalvo, referring to Castrol and Triumph. “We are all immensely proud to be back to continue that legacy and push the boundaries of modern engineering with the Triumph Castrol Rocket.” Remarkably, it took only just over two years to get from the initial conceptual drawings to the completed Castrol Rocket.
World land speed record attempts in Bonneville are held on a dead-straight stretch of at least ten miles (about 16 kilometres). However, weather conditions can result in a delay to the schedule at any time. As if to prove this point, the weather was less than cooperative over the past few days, when important tests were scheduled for the Castrol Rocket.
“While the Castrol Rocket streamliner produces enough power from the two Rocket III engines to generate record setting speeds, our endeavour also becomes a battle with the elements,” says engine manufacturer Bob Carpenter, “the salt flats are an ever-changing environment that can be quite forgiving or absolutely inhospitable. You never know what to expect.”
Despite the difficult conditions over the last few weeks, it should be possible to stage the attempt in the coming days. “We are here to reclaim a world record for Castrol and Triumph. It’s been a long, rewarding journey just to get to this point,” explains a proud Matt Markstaller, aerodynamics expert in the Castrol Rocket team. However, he is well aware that it will not be a stroll in the park: “It is very hard because there are so many variables to contend against.”
The coming days will reveal whether the adventure, which began two years ago, is ready to produce its first really big success. Markstaller is confident that the cooperation between Castrol and Triumph, which has already proven to be extremely successful on numerous occasions in the past, can once again make history. “We have an amazing team”, he says.