SCTA/BNI World Finals October 8-12, 2009. Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
The White Goose Bar Racing (WGBR) team of Mike Manghelli and Keith Pedersen finally struck pay salt this year at the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) and Bonneville Nationals Inc (BNI) World Finals (WF) event in October. The BNI had postponed the event one day due to rain storms that dropped several inches of water on the Bonneville Salt Flats and had a spectacular event after the day of drying. The teams blue and yellow Volkswagen Rabbit Pick-up truck experienced a disappointing turn of events at Speedweek when they first fired their turbocharged 2.0 L VW motor and proceeded to break the transmission on only the fourth tune up pass on the truck. At the World Finals event however, the WGBR team managed to run a 165.990 mph on the first run against a 158.828 record held by a turbocharged Toyota truck. The required return run netted a 165.880 mph because Mike shut the truck down early and coasted through the mile after seeing some disturbing readings on the gauges. Fortunately, the data and a quick check of the engine showed no problems that would prevent the team from running the Rabbit in the upcoming late October El Mirage dry lake S.C.T.A. event. The two way average for the new G/BMMP record was 165.989 mph.
The team is hopeful that additional tuning will gain greater results next year. The runs would have been faster if Keith, who normally drives, would have been in the seat instead of Mike. Mike drove at the last minute because Keith could not make it to the salt this time. The team would like to thank John Romero, who was the crew chief on the truck at the WF event and is always there when you need him. Also the rest of the WGBR team, Rick Yacoucci, Pete Belich, Jim Stevens and Greg Waters for their assistance in the impound.
In addition, perrenial Volkswagen land speed racer, Larry Monreal, brought his yellow Ghia back to the salt and also set another record. The two way average speed for the #57 racer averaged 164.158 miles per hour and was also powered by a DOHC Volkswagen four cylinder watercooled engine. All in all, it was a great weekend for the VW guys at the final land speed event on the salt in 2009. Text and photographs by Burly Burlile