Bonneville SpeedWeek

Photographer Simon Davidson Zooms in On the Desert Racing Action Across Utah’s Salt Flats

Simon Davidson’s latest photo series captures high-speed junkies from all over the world descending with their souped-up engines upon a sprawling 5-mile course in Utah’s 36,650 acre dry salt lake for the 64th annual Bonneville SpeedWeek. Over 512 entries combining high-tech engineering and vintage automobiles—including custom belly tankers, hot rods, motorcycles and streamliners—gathered to set land speed records and race at upwards of 400mph upon the uninhabited salt shell. “Over the last hundred years, there have been more land speed records set on Bonneville’s Salt Flats than anywhere else in the world,” says the photographer. “It could almost be said that Bonneville is the home of speed.” This year’s high-octane winner, a Speed Demon D Blown Fuel streamliner, smashed records by reaching 430mph in temperatures nearing 120 Fahrenheit. Utah’s famed speedway track dates back to the 30s when the then Salt Lake City mayor Ab Jenkins took on motoring journalist Sir Malcolm Campbell in the city’s first ever race. A 50s and 60s car aficionado himself, Davidson depicts the fervent mood of the contestants: “Those who keep coming back time and time again call it the 'Salt Fever'.”

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