All week long, the Honda Racing F1 team has been out at the Bonneville Salt Flats pursuing a lofty goal: setting a new Formula 1 car land speed record over the Bonneville flying mile with an average speed of 400 kph. Honda simply called the mission the Bonneville 400.
The instrument being used to make the attempt was a V10-powered Honda 007. For the runs out on the salt, the car was outfitted with an upright rear fin instead of the standard wing, and also employed the use of a parachute to help slow itself at the completion of each attempt. Driver Alan van der Mewe was behind the wheel for all the early-morning record runs, and through the course of the week, Alan, the team, and the car have broken F1 class records three times.
During today's final set of attempts, the Honda produced two land speed records for Formula 1 cars. Over the Bonneville flying mile, the car hit an average speed of 397.360kph (246.908mph). The second record set was over the flying kilometer, where it averaged 397.481kph (246.983mph).
The magic 400 kph average remained out of reach, though earlier this week, the car did hit 400.454 kph on one pass of the measured mile. It wasn't able to match the feat on the return trip, unfortunately.
While disappointed that they didn't set the record at 400, all parties involved deemed the week a success. Given the time and effort that they put into the event and the challenges they faced running an F1 car on the salt flats, you can't help but agree.
Check out the Bonneville 400 site for a host of info, including full coverage of the week, images and video of the attempts.
(Additional photos after the jump)
[Source: Honda Racing F1]