Valerie Thompson and American Motorcycle Association Hall Of Fame member Denis Manning return to the world’s fastest race course for the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Salt Flats, August 26-31, on a mission to rewrite motorsports history by breaking the land speed record of 376.36 mph (605.69 km/h) with the famed Team “7” Streamliner (aka BUB 7).
Thompson stunned the racing world at last year’s trials with a speed of 304.263 mph (489.663 km/h) piloting the Manning designed “7” Streamliner on only her fifth run, becoming the first female rider over 300 mph and earning the Fastest Time of the Meet award.
The current record, set in 2010 by the Top 1 Ack Attack team, was formerly held twice by the Manning designed and built “BUB 7” Streamliner, setting the stage for an all out battle for the “world’s fastest motorcycle” title.
The quest for the title is being captured on film by P-51 Pictures and Executive Producer Dana Brown, creators of “Dust to Glory,” “On Any Sunday” and the award-winning “Out of Nothing” motorcycle racing documentary. P-51 crews have followed the teams for more than 12 months filming the land speed-racing documentary, “Rockets & Titans,” scheduled for worldwide theater distribution in 2018.
P-51 Pictures will utilize a crew of more than twenty technicians to film highlights of the speed trials both on and off the track. Asked if the movie related activity is a distraction, Thompson said, “Believe it or not, no. The film crew is very professional and easy to work with. More importantly, I’m delighted land speed racing will get a worldwide stage through this documentary. It’s excellent exposure for sponsors like TROON Inc., Vision Wheel, ilium Works, Wheels Through Time and who make it possible for us to chase our dreams.”
Thompson has seven land speed records on a variety of bikes ranging from Harley-Davidson’s to BMW’s and is a member of six-land speed racing 200 MPH Clubs. Breaking the current record would be her first in a streamliner.
“I set my first record at Bonneville in 2006 and fell in love with land speed racing where you can keep the throttle open and push the equipment to its ultimate limit. I’ve prepared for this moment since then, so I’m anxious to get back on the salt,” said Thompson. “With Denis Manning leading the best team I’ve ever worked with, I know the bike has the power. It all comes down to track conditions, weather and me hitting my marks,” stated a determined Thompson.
Manning started racing at Bonneville as a teenager, earning his first world speed record at age 24 as builder of Cal Rayborn’s 1970 entry, reaching a top speed of 265 mph. “I’ve pursued this dream with my family for over 40 years, a dream I hope to fulfill with Team “7” Racing and three generations of Manning’s,” said Manning. He added, “I’m confident we’ve properly prepared the vehicle, especially considering the expertise of Team “7” owners Jon Jans and Joe Harrelson who are ‘best in class’ machinist and builders. I know Valerie is more than ready. She dreams about Bonneville as much as I do.”
If seven is truly a lucky number, look for Thompson, Manning and Team “7” Racing celebrating a dream come true on the Salt Flats of Bonneville.