Also, if I failed at added HP, I had one more rabbit I could pull out of my hat. And that was to “Hop up” a class and run in the LARGER engine size class of 751cc-1000cc. I like the saying, “figures don’t lie… But liars figure”. Because of all the speed we have managed to obtained on our small 750cc engine we were now running a faster average mile speed record in “J Class” at 123.765 mph, then the “I Class” with a 1000cc engine at 122.539 mph. That meant if I could just make my engine a few CC larger and keep everything the same I would have a chance to set a new record in the “I Class”. Maybe I had found ONE rabbit hopping around!So with 2 rabbits in our hat we set off in September for “World of Speed” 2018. I had three main goals for the trip. First was a new world record. Second was to obtain my 125-149 MPH license. Lastly was NOT to blow up my engine! I took along my service manager Chuck Crimmins and my lead Saab tech Will Roberts along to help pit.
It took a few runs as we missed the first run by .023 of a second from qualifying. The next two runs were lost to a throttle cable stretching and then breaking! But on the next run we eventually squeezed just enough power to exceed the “I Class” Record of 122.539 to a very slim NEW RECORD of 122.679 mph (That is the average speed for 2 runs, for the 2-3 mile run, over 2 days).
With our first goal accomplished it was time to tackle the next 2 goals. The problem was they tend to collide with each other since we could only get to 122.5+ mph. But in Bonneville you either break records or break parts. And to go over 125 mph was going to require a delicate dance of carb mixture, timing, compression ratio and fuel choice. I have a friend named Howard who is my “go to guy” for two stroke racing turning. We talked Sunday night on the phone and crunch the numbers. He felt the engine “might blowup” with these new settings, but I hoped I could get to the 3 mile mark before it melted down! Running wide-open throttle for 3 straight miles is a strain on any engine! My pit crew was a bit divided on which way to go. Young Will Roberts had been campaigning to make the changes and “go for it”. Both Chuck and myself thought we were at the end of our power output with the 752cc engine and exceeding 125 was not possible. Chuck and I went for a walk and told young Will to decide on his own. If we came back and the changes were in the process of being made we would compete the next day. If not we would head home and spend more time on the dynamometer to find the needed horse power to exceed the 125mph mark without blowing up an engine immediately!
When Chuck and I returned to the pit “Will Power” had taken over! Will was making the delicate changes and we would see what the morning would bring.
The next day the car ran faster than it ever has! As I entered the 2 mile I was already over the speed of 124 mph. And this GPS monitored speed just kept climbing! We ended up with an exit speed of 129mph and a run of 127.763 mph for the 1 mile average speed. The second rabbit had finally been pulled out of the hat! We had discovered a new formula to make the small engine run even faster then we thought it was capable of.
We did our back up run into a 2 mph headwind which only cost us 2/10’s of a mph. So we ended up with a two run average of 127.660 mph for the NEW “I Class” record! (751-1000cc engines).
And the icing on the cake was our engine was in perfect condition. No damage had occurred. It was time to go home!
But the story doesn’t end there. Armed with a new formula to make the car run faster we then set our sights on the “World Finals” three weeks later in October with a slightly smaller engine back in our old “J Class” (501-750cc engines).