When America’s high-speed hot rodders gather
in Wendover, Utah at the fabled Bonneville
Salt Flats later next month the world's
fastest Alfa Romeo will be bidding to break
high-speed hot rodders will gather in Wendover, Utah at
the fabled Bonneville Salt Flats August 18-24 for the
2008 Bonneville Speed Week. Once again, the
Chicago-based 1991 Alfa Spider affectionately nicknamed
“Bonnie” will add a little Italian flair to the
proceedings while shooting for yet another speed record.
In 2006, the
screaming yellow Alfa Spider managed a 217.152 mph average
over two runs to claim the G/BGMS (Blown Gas Modified
Sports) record the team had been chasing since their first
trip to Bonneville in 1999. That also made the Richard
Kreines-owned Spider the fastest full-bodied Alfa Romeo
ever, beating the record previously held by the Alfa
factory’s one-off Procar 164.
This year, the
focus of the effort is on regaining the G/BFMS (Blown Fuel
Modified Sports) record Bonnie set in 2002 and obliterated
by a 221 mph Nissan in 2006. The team hoped to achieve that
goal last year, but had to cancel the trip west at the last
minute. Now, after an extra year’s worth of aero and cooling
improvements, car builder Mike Besic of Besic Motorsports
and engine builder Jim Steck of Autocomponenti are confident
that the International Auto Parts-sponsored Alfa has what it
takes to get the job done.
drivers (Besic, Steck and Craig Bielat) have set records in
the car so far, and Steck joined Bonneville’s exclusive 200
MPH Club in 2006. That type of success is exceptionally rare
at Bonneville, especially for a bunch of sports car guys
from the Midwest running a four-cylinder Italian sports car.
Kreines is proud of what the team has achieved so far, but
he’s looking forward to adding another record in 2008.
“We’ve had the right people and everything came together,”
he said. “We’ve been lucky, too—not everybody comes out
there and does what we’ve done. The car’s got three records
and we’ll get the other one back.”