Obviously, we’re all in favor of supercar owners taking six-figure speed machines out and driving them the way they were intended to be driven, even in the dead of winter. (One of many reasons to love Jon Olsson.) But there’s a difference between not coddling your car and driving it balls-deep through salt water. Also: messing with history.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which manages Bonneville, designated the Salt Flats as an area of Critical Environmental Concern in 1985. During the past 60 years, millions of tons of salt have been transferred from the racing area to Intrepid Potash, a nearby mining operation. While Intrepid has recently pumped salt brine back into the flats, it hasn’t been enough to replace the 50-75 million tons evacuated prior to 1997. The International Track, once thirteen miles, now measures only eight. Save Indianapolis and Daytona, Bonneville might be the greatest surviving American historic speed venue. We’re all about hooning, but trashing the Salt Flats is decidedly uncool.
Good idea. Poor execution.