Venturi and Ohio State University have traipsed out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for three years now, trying to break the FIA's land speed record for an electric vehicle in any category. And for those three years they've been thwarted by Mother Nature, who floods the flats and fouls the salt, eliminating the conditions necessary to achieve the target of going faster than 308 miles per hour.

However, like last year, the team was able to break the class speed record with the VBB-3 by going 240.320 miles per hour, but it needs FIA certification before becoming official. The team wanted to lay out a 12-mile track, but conditions were so bad that they could only safely get ten miles. That track, though, was still so bumpy that on the return leg - records are set using and out-and-back format, averaging the speeds of the two runs - the VBB 3 hit something that punched a hole in the cooling tank. Before that, other issues included the choppy surface bouncing the vehicle around so much that it cut out the electric system.

So it's not what they wanted, especially for a 3,000-horsepower missile designed to go 400 mph, but they might not walk away empty handed. The press release below has more, the video above shows the Venturi doing what it could in the circumstances.

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Venturi VBB-3 Electric Vehicle Breaks FIA World Speed Record

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New electric land speed record for Venturi

Venturi Automobiles and their partner The Ohio State University Center For Automotive Research achieve a new land speed record with the all-electric Venturi VBB-3 (subject to FIA homologation).


Monaco, August 27, 2015 - Despite very difficult track conditions, Venturi and their partner The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research established a new FIA land speed record with their 3000hp electric car, the Venturi VBB-3 at a one-mile average speed of 240.320 mph (386.757 kph). The record is subject to FIA homologation.

The Monaco based Venturi team was targeting their previous electric FIA World Land Speed Record set in 2010 with The Ohio State University Center For Automotive Research with the Venturi VBB-2.5 (a previous 700hp electric vehicle) at 307mph (495kph), instead achieving a category record.

2015 marks the third year in a row that weather conditions have prevented the Bonneville Salt Flats from providing ideal race conditions consisting of a hard and dry track.

The Bonneville Salt Flats saw a very wet July causing the organizers of SpeedWeek to cancel their famous event which should have taken place August 8th through 14th. The Venturi team was hopeful that the salt would dry for their mid-to-late August FIA world land speed record attempt, but a heavy storm on August 7th delayed their plans.

It wasn't until August 15th that the Venturi team was able to set up their headquarters on the Salt Flats in order to make a record attempt, shortening their schedule dramatically. The SpeedWeek event would have served as a preparation and practice before the FIA world speed record attempt. However, like last year, the team instead spent that time waiting for the track to dry and then for the "Land Speed Events" trucks to work around the clock in order to groom the track to remove any bumps and to attempt to have a very steady and flat surface.

Venturi VBB-3 driver Roger Schroer spent many days learning the track mile-by-mile to be prepared for speed testing which finally began on August 19th. Despite the waiting period and delayed schedule, the track conditions were not ideal. A typical track for a world speed record attempt would be 12 miles long. However, due to the previous flooding of the salt, the team had only a 10 mile track to work with and throughout those 10 miles some segments were still partially wet and bumpy with clumps of mud and wet salt. These conditions inevitable led to problems with the vehicle, causing excessive shaking of the VBB-3 and it's components and ultimately disrupted the electrical system. After careful consideration for the driver's safety, the Venturi team and their experienced driver decided to make an attempt at the record on August 21st. It was their first and last attempt because on the rebound run, the front cooling system tank was pierced.

Roger Schroer, VBB-3 driver said:
"In eleven years here I have never driven on such a difficult track. The car was sliding on the surface from one side to the other due to soft spots and bumps."

David Cooke, team manager, The Ohio State University Centre for Automotive research
"We went faster than we have ever gone with this car but it's been a very difficult week on a very smooth track and we have done some damage to the car from extreme vibrations. But i am very confident that with a good track the VBB3 can reach its target"

Gildo Pallanca Pastor, Venturi Automobiles owner said:
Despite a rough track and an extremely shortened schedule, we have set a new record in our category. Our potential is still to be shown, but we have to be satisfied with what we have in the conditions we had to work with. And in this conditions we need to be very cautious with the safety of Roger."

VENTURI AUTOMOBILES
Since 2000, Venturi Automobiles and its CEO Gildo Pallanca Pastor have been carrying out a sustained policy of research and technical innovation for electric vehicles. VENTURI is a pioneer in electric sports cars and harnesses the most advanced technology available that is just as relevant to urban vehicles as it is to very high performance cars. www.venturi.fr

CENTER FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH
As part of Ohio State University (OSU), the CENTER FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH (CAR) is a research laboratory with significant test resources and strong partnerships within the automobile industry at its disposal. CAR trains the engineers of the future, in particular thanks to its specialization in electric vehicles. car.osu.edu

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