IHPVA 200 Meter Flying Start Speed Record Rules
I have located an HTML version of the HPVA (no longer
International I guess) OFFICIAL
RULES. The official rules are for all the events,
including the 188.8.131.52 200 METER SPEED TRIAL.
Here are the rules as I remember them.
Making all this stuff happen all at the same time is very
difficult. For the Cheetah's record runs, we were lucky to
find a course with about 1/2 percent slope, three miles of run
up, and an altitude of about 7,600 feet. And it had just been
repaved the previous year and so was nice and smooth. We
actually broke the record twice. The first time we went about
65.51 mph, just barely breaking the existing record of 65.48
mph. This was considered inadequate and so we kept trying.
The wind made it difficult to get everything just right.
Finally we got the break we needed and with a SIDEWAYS but
smooth and even blowing wind of about 2 mph, we managed to
shatter the record by nearly 5% with a new world record average
speed of 68.73 mph.
- The event must be witnessed by at least two IHPVA
officials. One observes the start of each run and radios the
second indicating when the launch occurs. This first official
also makes sure that no assistance is provided in the form of
pushing the vehicle past the first 15 meters (about 49 feet)
of the launch. This official may also follow the vehicle in a
car or truck at a safe distance to ensure no other hanky-panky
occurs during the run.
The second official is located at the end of the 200 meter
speed trap. This official begins measuring the volume of air
that pass through a wind meter during the course of the entire
run. Later the total volume of air is divided by the total
time of the run to indicate the average wind speed, in any
direction, during the run. A tell-tail is attached to the
wind meter which the official is supposed to keep roughly
parallel to the wind during the entire event. The average
speed of the wind may not exceed 1.5 meters per second (about
3.4 mph). This official is also responsible for setting and
resetting the timing equipment and videotaping the vehicle
making its run through the speed trap. And without stopping
the recording, this official is also supposed to tape the
timing equipment display to unambiguously tie the witnessed
run to the stated time.
- The course may have unlimited run up to the speed trap
with the following restrictions. The slope of the course may
not exceed 2/3 of one percent. This is defined by
constructing an imaginary line which begins at the end of the
speed trap and extends backwards to the beginning of the run
at 2/3 of one percent slope (2/3 of one foot elevation rise for
every 100 feet of run). At no point may the course intersect
this imaginary line.
The second restriction on the course is that the total
elevation drop from the beginning of the run to the end of the
speed trap may not exceed 100 feet.
So, the ideal course has a slope of exactly 2/3 percent and
uses this entire 100 feet of elevation drop. This amounts to
a course which is 15,000 feet or about 2.84 miles long. This
ideal course provides the maximum advantage with the most run
up. There is NO RESTRICTION on altitude and since the air is
thinner at higher altitude, it is advantageous to find an
ideal course at high altitude. But anything higher that 8,000
feet is difficult for an athlete to adapt to rapidly and hence
this alititude is fairly optimal. The course and speed trap
must be surveyed to ensure that the above criteria are met.
And of course, permission to use the road must be obtained
from the appropriate County.
- Insurance for $1,000,000 must be obtained which idemnifies
the IHPVA and its officials for any damgage your event causes.
- Certified timing equipment must be used to time your runs
through the speed trap. For a nominal fee, you can rent the
IHPVA's timing equipment and trigger switches in which case
they certify the equipment.
- Lastly, the force must be with you because besides all
these other bureaucratic hoops you must jump through, your run
basically must occur with virtually no wind (or rain!). If there is
any wind, it should be smooth, steady, blowing down your course,
and less than the allowed value.
©1999 James R. Osborn. This page last updated 5/21/99.