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Don’t Miss Part 2 of “Bonneville: a Summer of Speed”
Rick Pearson Goes For A Record

Sometimes the BBC really comes up trumps: they certainly did last Sunday evening, January 6, with Part 1 of “Bonneville: a Summer of Speed”. I’m sure you can find that on the BBC iplayer, wherever you are in the world.

What made that special for me was discovering that former (and future) GT racer Rick Pearson was the driver of a fascinating project, Flower of Scotland. The programme features six record-breakers (attempters), five of which are two-wheelers. Flower of Scotland is the only car-based project of the six British attempts at Bonneville records, but all six are wonderfully appealing.

Part 1 followed the eccentrics as they built and tested their machines. Part 2, this Sunday, January 13, will follow their exploits on the salt, last August.

We asked Rick Pearson  to fill in the background to his involvement in Flower of Scotland, and this is what he had to say.

“It was back in July 2009 that I was last on DSC, throwing my toys publically at the SRO over what I felt at the time was the total mismanagement of the GT4 category. I won’t pass comment on how well it’s gone for GT4 since then, but we do hope to return to the GT arena once we have a little more time and the costs have been got back under control. I await the relaunch with interest... but also some cynicism I’m afraid.

“Meanwhile, as some people will have noticed on BBC2 (and HD!) on Sunday evening, in the intervening years we’ve been working towards a new goal: becoming the fastest guys ever over the measured mile with a 1 litre engine.

“It all started  in the Summer of 2009 when I had the opportunity to go out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speedweek with my father-in-law, Yves Morizot, the President of Stand21 racewear. He’d offered his expertise to try and help the Land Speed Community with their safety, and I jumped at the chance of seeing another form of motorsport. Unfortunately, I caught what is known as Salt Fever. Because, if there’s an ounce of petrol in your veins, the Salt is a truly awesome place. Not just the 500+ cars and bikes that come to run flat out at Speedweek, nor the amazing Hot Rods that the spectators bring out but most of all, the Land Speed community who are simply the most fabulous bunch of petrolheads on the planet.

“I’ve been back as a driver every year since then with a home built, 22ft long Streamliner called the Flower of Scotland chasing a 313mph record and a place in the Bonneville 300 club. Then in 2011, a local kid, Josh Clason, put together a fantastic short movie about our week on the Salt which you can view here:

Flower of Scotland from Josh Clason on Vimeo.

“This attracted the attention of the BBC and we put them in touch with a few mad bikers and the result is Speed Dreams, the second part of which you’ll be able to see on BBC2 and BBC HD on Sunday evening... I won’t spoil the story, but it should be worth watching.

“I can assure you that the Flower is as unpleasant to sit in and drive as it looks, claustrophobia is not an option, my chin is jammed on my chest so breathing is not easy. And there are no front tyres... so the nose hunts around at speed and needs constant correction on every breath of wind. Here’s the teaser for Sunday night:

"On a final note... the entry fee for Speedweek is $425 (yes that’s for 7 days of running)... and one set of tyres has been known to last 50 years..."

MC