On November 12-13, the Greenspeed team took a trip to the El Mirage Dry Lakebed in CA for the final Southern California Timing Assc (SCTA) event of the year. On Saturday the driver, Dave, was very nervous at the start line because it was the first time the truck was going to move while being powered by vegetable oil. However, he took off down the 1.3 mile course and shattered the existing record of 98 mph with a run of 139.882 mph. The next day, the team topped that record with a run of 155.331 mph. The team hopes that that time will be high enough to hold the record until they make it back to the salt flats in August of 2012 for Speed Week. At that point, the team intends to challenge the existing petroleum record of 215.091 mph, with vegetable oil as a fuel.
Greenspeed did actually make the insane deadline of Speed Week 2011. They passed inspection on the last night of the event and made it to the start 50 minutes before the event ended. Given the tight schedule, there was not nearly enough time to get vegetable oil heated prior to getting on course. However, the team was able to make a rookie run and one licensing run though!
After Speed Week, the team brought the truck home, started school the next day, and then started replacing all the duct tape with clamps and made sure everything was in it’s proper place. They put the truck on the dyno and worked to get the injection timing and fuel curve correct with plans of taking the record at World of Speed two weeks later. This time, the crew made it to the salt and passed inspection with plenty of time. At about the half mile mark on the very first run, at a speed of over 140 mph, two cylinders ended up cracking. The next morning, the team packed up and headed home
feeling pretty dejected. They took the engine to Big Twin Diesel for a thorough teardown and inspection. By the end of the day, Big Twin, Northwest Motor Machine, Mahle, and Clevite were ready and willing to help the team have a running engine in time to make it to the salt for one last attempt at World Finals, in another two weeks. So, putting class work on the back burner once again, the team doubled down to get everything ready in time.
The night the team had planned on leaving, with a perfectly running truck, and a brand new vegetable oil system, the event had been cancelled due to 4″ of standing water on the salt flats! In a slight daze, the team started looking into alternatives (runways, drag strips, anything that might work in order to get the record out of the way). They decided to go for the final SCTA event of the year at El Mirage. It was risky though: a very long drive, questionable weather in the middle of Nov, and a very short course. But as you’ve already read, it turned out well for all.