After weeks of effort to hold the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials and AMA Land Speed Grand Championship as scheduled August 29th – September 3rd, event planners have been forced to cancel the 2015 event.
The latest release received today (Aug. 17) from Event Manager/Owner Delvene Manning says, “Over the past year, we have all been working towards the goal of racing motorcycles at the Bonneville Salt Flats. As the event management, it is always our intent to run the premier motorcycle land speed racing event, the AMA Land Speed Grand Championship, at Bonneville. However, we are always beholden to mother nature to provide us with good conditions in the environment that we all dedicate our time and resources to.”
“Last year we were able to hold an event when conditions were stacked against us. This year, the conditions have been improving but not at the pace needed. We have assessed the conditions and we are unable to sustain the minimum standards for a premier event. Due to this, we are cancelling the 2015 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, AMA Land Speed Grand Championship.”
“It’s been an extremely difficult decision to make, and one we have not taken lightly. Our dedicated team has put in countless hours to evaluate the options for course layouts, the quality of the course, pit locations, salt flats on/off accessibility, course volume sustainability, and the impact on salt flats resources. Although we are cancelling, other events are still scheduled for this season. Our decision does not affect the ability for other events to proceed.”
Manning went on to explain the course conditions that led to the decision, saying that even though weather conditions lately had been promising, that ½ of water still remained in the area of the “mountain course” and in the pit area.
Efforts to find a suitable alternative course location were not successful and the “international course” or long course was not suitable for competition over its entire length. Finally, course deterioration over the period of the entire event with more than 300 possible entrants would be likely and damage sustained in the course access areas last year has not completely resolved as of yet.
With regard to the next steps of the cancellation as it affects participants, future events and conditions affecting the salt flat itself, Manning said, “We appreciate your patience while we sort through the details of the cancellation. We will be in touch with participants in the coming weeks with further information to answer any question that you have, and to provide further details on our cancellation procedure.”
“There have been a lot of discussions and comments recently about the deterioration of the Bonneville Salt Flats due to human interaction, mining and the stewardship of the public land. Like many public areas, it is beloved by people for recreation, livelihood, and intrinsic beauty. As racers, we are carrying on a tradition of pushing the boundaries of human ingenuity that goes back over 100 years.”
“There are many factors that contribute to the conditions that we are facing this year. Regardless of the causes, we are seeing that the salt this year is not the same as years past. The traditional race courses for all of the organizations are becoming increasingly difficult to develop. In the coming weeks we will be sharing further information of how we plan to contribute to a positive future for all who use this wonderful resource, and what you can do to help.”
“We appreciate, and understand, all of the hours that you have dedicated to preparing your motorcycles. The sacrifices you will have made to reach for your goals throughout this year, and for our international participants, the additional logistics that you encounter to reach us.”
“We are working along side you as we extend ourselves to help you achieve those goals.”
“We thank the volunteers for their contributions, the AMA and FIM organizations and support staff. We also wish to thank our sponsors for their support of our sport,” Manning concluded.
Images by the author from the 2014 BMST event.