Student team sets another land speed record.
A land speed racing team composed largely of students at Ohio State University has set another international record for heavy electric vehicles at Bonneville Salt Flats.
Summer rains had soaked surface of the Salt Flats, in Wendover, Utah, and presented difficulties for the team's professional driver, Roger Schroer. He managed to achieve an average two-way speed of 240.320 miles per hour (386.757 kilometers per hour] in the team's latest streamliner, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3.
The record is waiting for confirmation by the world racing body, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.
This is the second year the team has competed in FIA's Category A Group VIII Class 8, for electric vehicles over 3.5 tons.
Weather interfered last year, as well, when the team set a record in the same category at 212.615 mph (342.171 kph).
The ultimate world record for electric vehicles, set by the same team in 2010, is 307.6 mph (495 kph) in FIA's Category A Group VIII Class 4.
The crew was able to prepare 10 miles of the track this year. The typical course is 12 miles. The salt surface, best for racing when it is compact and dry, was left bumpy and wet.
The new record did not come without costs. Intense vibration disrupted the vehicle's electronic system and generated weld cracks in components, including the front cooling tank.
According to Schroer, "In eleven years here I have never driven on such a difficult track. The vehicle was sliding on the surface from one side to the other due to soft spots and bumps."
The electric streamliner was designed and built by undergraduate and graduate students over the past five years at The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. It is propelled by two custom electric motors developed by Venturi Automobiles, a Monaco-based electric vehicle manufacturer that is the team's partner. Power comes from more than two megawatts of lithium ion batteries produced by A123 Systems.
Schroer is a veteran team driver from Transportation Research Center, an independent automotive proving ground and vehicle testing organization in East Liberty, Ohio.