The FIA has confirmed a world land speed record for the Venturi VBB-3 electric vehicle, held on 22 August 2014 at Bonneville Salt Flats.
The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3), piloted by Roger Schroer, set an average two-way speed of 212.615 miles per hour. The record is in Category A, Group VII, Class 8.
For the world record to be considered the VBB-3 made two speed runs, one each in opposite directions and within 60 minutes.
The Venturi team and its partner, the Center for Automotive Research (Ohio State University) had travelled to Utah in pursuit of the the fastest world land speed record for an electric vehicle regardless of classification but their efforts were hampered by violent storms that hit the region in the weeks leading up to the attempt.
A series of floods left portions of the track under 25cm of water. According to Venturi the team’s plans were disrupted by “an almost unprecedented double meteorological event” and the annual Speedweek event at which numerous record attempts are traditionally made was cancelled for the first time in 32 years. The team had planned to use the event, which was set to celebrate its 100th anniversary, as preparation for its world record attempt.
However, once the weather cleared the team elected to stay on and make record attempts over a scaled down four-day period.
Strong winds and further rain again hampered the attempts and the team was only able to make approximately 10 runs with the Venturi. However, during these runs the new record in its category (electric vehicles over 3.5 metric tons) was set. The VBB-3 finished just 38 mph off the fastest world record for electric vehicles, set by its predecessor the VBB-2.5 in 2010.
“These very first tests were very valuable, giving us plenty of data for the various systems (powertrain, suspensions, batteries) and proving that the car has been well designed, guaranteeing the achievement of new standards in terms of very high speed," explained Nicolas Mauduit, Program Director at Venturi Automobiles.
"In this remarkable period of time when the weather played on our nerves, the team showed its considerable resources, and its firm, unwavering commitment,” added Delphine Biscaye, VBB-3 Project Manager at Venturi Automobiles.
The Venturi team is now considering a new FIA electric vehicle world record attempt for 2015. "We will be back on Bonneville Salt Flats in 2015," said Gildo Pallanca Pastor, President of Venturi. “The potential we tested on this car and the time we waited have multiplied our motivation and our willingness to accomplish an unprecedented performance for an electric vehicle."