copyright © 1996, Electric Nevada
|Gerlach, Nev. -- After several days of delays, hitches and weather watching, Craig Breedlove was poised Tueday to take his jet-powered "Spirit of America" across an 11-mile stretch of the Black Rock Desert in pursuit of the land speed record.|
arrived here Sunday night and the transporter carrying
his vehicle followed early Monday. Assembling and testing
followed, along with the clearing of the track.
"As the rules state, we have to qualify with two successive runs of more than 400 miles an hour," said Bill Breedlove, Craig's cousin and the operations manager at Black Rock.
An attempt at the record of 633.468 miles an hour could come as soon as this afternoon. Breedlove would have Wednesday and Thursday morning, if necessary, to shoot for the mark, held by Richard Noble of Great Britain. He is due in Las Vegas Thursday afternoon for a marketing meeting with his chief sponsor, Shell Oil.
He could return to try again Nov. 1 if this attempt fails. The recreational permit is valid through Nov. 15.
Breedlove, 59, of Rio Vista, Calif. was the first to exceed 400, 500 and 600 miles an hour. He says his goals over the next two years are to break 700 and then to eclipse the sound barrier, which would be more than 750 mph.
An attempt by environmental groups to block the land speed chase was denied by a deputy chief administrative judge pending an appeal. That appeal would not be heard for at least six months, according to Lynn Clemons of the Bureau of Land Management district office in Winnemucca.
To officially capture the record, Breedlove
would have to clock 640 mph, or 1 percent
better than the current mark.
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