Here's a British (and purely personal) view on the
local/national/international/world record question.
The question of altitude first - I don't think you can do much about
altitude - after all its main effect is a change in the barometric pressure,
and this can change from minute to minute even at the same altitude.
Measured Distance - I don't see why records set over the same timed distance
cannot be compared - as long as they are set to the same rules. In other
words, the records set at El Mirage, Muroc and Maxton are all timed over
132ft in one direction, albeit on differing surfaces and run-ups, so why
can't the fastest record in each class be called a US NATIONAL record over
132ft (one-way)? The individual El Mirage, Muroc & Maxton records would
still stand as LOCAL records for each venue.
In Britain we are mainly limited to running on airfields of around the same
length as Maxton, but our records are set to the same rules, etc., as the
FIA, two-way, one-hour turnaround. The main difference that we have as
against the FIA is that for UK National records we have a flying-start 1/4
mile distance, to counter for the lack of room (although if you run at
Pendine - total length 4miles if you are lucky - you can still choose to run
over that distance). There is also nothing stopping you running the longer
distances (mile or kilo) on one of the runways - the deciding factor being
whether you can stop in time after leaving the traps.The fastest UK
wheel-driven records we have on the books over the mile and kilo are
191.64mph and 207.98mph (the two-wheeled kilo record stands at 209.05mph
with a street-legal bike).
FIA/SCTA - As far as I am aware, the main difference in the FIA and SCTA
rules (obviously disregarding body styles) are the minor differences between
the capacity breaks. These shouldn't cause too much of a problem going from
SCTA to FIA as I think in the main the FIA cut-offs are higher. If the Save
the Salt campaign continues to work and we get longer and better salt at
Bonneville, will the SCTA go back to two-way runs? If they do then as I see
it we are left with two main stumbling blocks:
1. Will the SCTA go back to a one-hour turnaround?
2. If the answer to 1 is YES answer then the big problem then is the high
cost of running under FIA sanction. If we could successfully argue to the
FIA (through the correct channels) that more their costs, etc., could be
kept at the same level, or even reduced if more people ran FIA records, but
PAYING LESS THAN THEY DO NOW we might get somewhere.
In other words - if the cost of running FIA was reduced by say a factor of
four how many more people would run under FIA sanction - if the number of
runners went up by say six or seven times the FIA are getting a lot more
money than they do now - and the racers are paying less (I know its
oversimplified but we could be looking at a win-win situation for all
I've got further thoughts on the above but I want to do a bit more research
before I share them (as Keith Duckworth said - It is better stay silent and
be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it!)
I apologise for the length of this ramble but if something positive comes
out of these discussions we could move closer to a unified LSR scene - it
could be the most important thing we've ever discussed.
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