VW Land Speed Racers
Great news for folks with Volkswagen air cooled powered racers has just been announced by the SCTA/BNI ( go to http://www.scta-bni.org
). Their "Classic" category of race cars that was previously open only to American cars built between 1948 and 1981 has been opened to include "Foreign Cars", and that means our Volkswagen's. The benefit for VW racers that comes from this change is our 1930's designed air cooled engines will no longer have to compete head to head for official land speed records set by radical watercooled Asian and European dual over head cam modern technology engines, most records of which are in the 200 mph plus range!
NOTE: This "DOES NOT" affect the 36hp Challenge and 130 Mile Per Hour Club record keeping that I maintain!
The tough part, only race VW's built to the demanding SCTA/BNI Rulebook can compete for these records which means much greater expense and serious effort is required to move to this level of competition. Any racer who is racing or building a VW they expect to exceed 135 miles per hour should seriously consider following the SCTA/BNI Rulebook safety requirements for two reasons. First and foremost, is safety! Speeds in this range involve much more serious consequences should something go wrong and Bugs "without wings" are extremely unsafe at these speeds (Ghias are much more stable and therefore better! And have better "aero"!). Second, building to the SCTA/BNI specs will allow you to race on the long three mile tracks at both the USFRA World of Speed at Bonneville and SCTA/BNI Bonneville Speedweek giving you greater opportunities for higher speeds and now with this change, potentially, SCTA/BNI land speed records.
I cannot speak for the USFRA or SCTA/BNI sanctioning bodies regarding safety and rules and the below interpretations are a simple overview of how I understand the rules as written. Therefore, I would strongly encourage you to obtain a 2012 Rulebook as soon as possible if your VW racing aspirations are in the 135 mile per hour plus range for now or the near future. This will insure you have information directly from the horses mouth before starting construction or improvements to your Volkswagen land speed race car. Questions can be answered by Mike Manghelli, the SCTA's resident VW racer and also SCTA Rules Co-ordinator directly at
General Classic guidelines:
ALTered: Stock body and fenders (chopped O.K. if pre 1948)( Fiberglass replacements, i.e., one piece front ends O.K. if "stock" proportions and shapes remain). Removal of bumpers and front lights and covering of grill(s) and front openings "is required"! O.K. for front air dam, engine hood scoop and rear wing ( like a Herrods Helper or drag style ) mounted in the trunk area. Engine "MUST" be swapped for a non-original engine such as a Type 2/4 engine in place of a 1600cc VW type engine or a 1600cc VW in place of a 36hp engine.Supercharged or turbocharged is O.K. as a B blown( G gas or F fuel )ALT entrant. Air cooled VW's must add a rear engine support under the case. No belly pans or other streamlining!
GC-Gas Coupe(or Sedan): Stock body and fenders (no chopping). Stock bumpers required. OK for front air dam and engine air scoops. Rear wing if production (Herrods Helpers are probably NOT legal!). Any engine. Supercharged or turbocharged is O.K. as a B blown GC entrant. Only minor body trim alterations permitted. No one piece front ends.
PROduction: Stock body. Stock bumpers required. No scoops or wings/spoilers (no Herrods Helper!). Engine original to "that body style". No supercharging or turbocharging however bigger and multiple carbs ( if they fit onto original intake manifold bolt pattern! ) and most other engine modifications are legal!
Engines: No electrical fuel injection. No sensor management system's with loop. No dual distributors or magnetos.
Letter definitions for classes as shown below:
F......engine size below 3000 cc's (1st F letter)
C.....Classic category(1948 to 1981 vehicle)
B.....Supercharged or turbocharged(Blown)
G.....Gasoline as fuel
F......All non gasoline fuels (2nd F letter)
Class Current Bonneville Record as of December 8th, 2011
F/CBFALT 129.641..........Hudson Boys Chevy 4/53 Stude 08/11
F/CFALT 165.224.........Cohn Chevy Monza 08/11
F/CBGALT 123.782.........Hudson Boys Chevy 4/53 Stude 08/11
F/CGALT 182.357.........Cohn Chevy Monza 08/11
F/CBGC 173.090.........Keosababian Chevy Corvair 08/74
F/CGC 174.922.........Cohn Chevy Monza 08/11
data taken from current posted SCTA/BNI speed records as of 11/20/11.
Bob Stahls 65 Bug with a 2914cc fuel injected (not Turbo'ed!)Type 4 engine.
If a Bonneville class is "Open" with no existing record, like the F/CPRO class, you can enter that class with a car that meets the engine displacement requirements (0.0L to 3.0L) and body, technical and fuel requirements and "establish" the base record for that class until someone goes faster than you.
All SCTA/BNI land speed records are set using the "average" of two runs. First, you must qualify by going faster than the record at which time you car is placed in "Impound" overnite until the next days early morning record runs. You make your second pass early in the morning and the speed from this run is averaged with the speed from your earlier "qualifying" pass. If the combined two pass average speed is above the existing record, you have set a new SCTA/BNI land speed record.
Each SCTA/BNI qualifying run at Bonneville in the classes Volkswagen air cooled racers qualify for are made on a three mile track instead of the one mile track we run in the 130 Mile Per Hour Club events at USFRA's World of Speed so your engine must maintain this high speed for a substantially longer period of time(build accordingly). VW's can run either at the USFRA World of Speed in September on the longer competition track west of the 130 track and set SCTA/BNI recognized records or they can attend the August SCTA/BNI Speedweek and race for records on one of two 3 mile competition tracks set up for cars running up to 175 miles per hour. Two way average records set on either three mile track become SCTA/BNI certified records. All cars racing on these three mile tracks must meet SCTA/BNI safety and class guidelines as set forth in the SCTA/BNI Rulebook. Details and rulebooks are available at http://www.scta-bni.org
. Order the "2012 Rulebook" to receive details on the new Classic classes allowing "foreign cars" into this 1948-1981 category.
In addition. if you are building, or contemplating building, an SCTA/BNI certified racer to go after this type of land speed record, contact the SCTA through their web-site and you can be assigned a personal individual SCTA member who will guide you over the phone to meet and exceed the safety definitions in the Rulebook. These SCTA member "guides" are invaluable in reducing problems during your tech and safety inspection when you first arrive. Upon passing your initial tech inspection, your car will be issued a SCTA/BNI Inspection record book that documents the history of your inspections for future guidance. If you have any questions, you can contact, Mike Manghelli, the SCTA's resident VW racer and also SCTA Rules Co-ordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Racing a 1200 to 1500cc ( 1.5L ) or 1600 to 2000cc ( 2.0L ) Volkswagen? At present, the new Classic classes do not have records available in those engine sizes so you have to compete with engines up to 3000cc ( 3.0L ) in the F class . Classes G (1.51L to 2.0L ) and H (1.1L to 1.5L ) will only be added after 2012 "if" cars show up to race in those engine size categories. The SCTA/BNI needs to see interest before any smaller engine categories will be included in future events.
This is super news for VW folks serious about going the extra miles(s) in land speed racing for the long term.
May the Speed be with you..........................