July UpdateWe

We have completed the rebuild of the car except for a few minor things. We expect to fire the engine in the next couple of weeks and being race prep and setup. We will be attending the World Of Speed meet September 13-16. I have added a few pics to the Gallery of the engine rebuild along with a couple of pics of some new crew members. The salt flats are looking good at this point, surface appears reasonably smooth, temps in the mid to upper 90”s for the foreseeable future. Hope to see you on the salt.


We have completed most of the engine work as well as a number other improvements to the chassis and car in general. The heads are getting a new set of exhaust valves and springs, should be completed and back on the engine in a couple of weeks. New chutes are in production and we expect to have them by the first of June. Final assembly of the car by mid July and ready for tuning. Pretty excited about the overall number of tweaks, repairs and improvements. The car will go to the salt it the best condition that it has been in.

The salt conditions are looking promising.The winter water had gone away last week and things were looking good. However wet weather in western Utah has put the racing surface back under a couple of inches of water. Not a big deal at this point, still expect a lot of drying weather between now and the fall.

We plan to visit the salt in late June to check out conditions. As we get closed to a race date will post more info and updates.

The Latest

After several weeks of looking at broken parts and chasing replacements, following is the latest update on the engine. The number two crankshaft rod journal was damaged but it is repairable and is in process. Two new rods on order, the remaining six with be sent in for reconditioning. Four new pistons (only needed two) being made to match the set. Will install new rings, rod bearings and main bearings. The heads look to be in pretty good shape, but will have them freshened up. We toasted the four CDI coils on the right side as a result of a small oil fire, will replace them. Waste gate monitors need replacement as well. Other than some wiring, and hoses nothing else needed. Really surprised we did not do more damage. 


The parachutes have had hard use and we blew a panel out of the main so will get new Kevlar chutes made. 


Plan to have it all back together by early summer and will return to the salt at either Speedweek ot the World of Speed. 400+ is certainly within reach.


More as we progress…..

WOS After Update

After returning to Sparks we removed the engine and pulled the pan to see what the damage looked like. The good news is, while we pitched a rod the damage is not as bad as it could have been. We have stated on our to-do list for 2019 and plan to go back to Bonneville next year. Hoping the salt is as good as it has been this year. More later…..

WOS After

Well, we had some good and some not so good runs. The first couple of runs on Friday we had some minor electrical gremlins. Saturday was very windy in the afternoon and we did not try anything serious. Sunday started to be a very good day. We ran a 370 mile, 380 exit and 382 peak speed. We ere well over the old record in our class so went to impound to prep for the back up run. Unfortunately we developed and ending problem and had to abort the run. That issue also ended the meet for us. Not sure what the problem is but will start to work on it later this week. We were happy to make the early run and confirm the car is clearly capable of running over 400 mph. We have numerous pictures posted on my personal Facebook page as well as the Lessman Racing Facebook page. Stay tuned to the 2019 plans.


The car is ready to load, will do that Friday. Few little things left to do but will be ready to leave early on the 12th. Most of the usual crew with be there Susan, Ellis, Hoot, Ron and Tom. Expecting a couple of old friends to show up as well as Matt Vargo (son in law) and Mike Hutchings. Always have a few surprises make an appearance as well. Will try to keep this web site current but our Facebook page for Lessman Racing will likely have the most current updates. Really looking forward to getting back on the salt.

World Of Speed

I sent in our entry application and fee for the World Of Speed. We will arrive at Wendover on September 12, pit set up and inspection on the 13th. Racing starts the 14 and runs through the 17. We will be ready for a shake down run first thing on the 14th, plans will be adjusted accordingly after that first run. Hope to see you all on the salt. 

More updates as the date gets closer.


Summer 2018 Update- Good News!

I have been hearing the salt is much better this year. So Ellis and I took a trip to Bonneville the 8th/9th of July. We were very surprised at what we saw after the last several years. The first 4 miles is as good as I have seen, and the 5 is better than the last few years. the salt is smoooooth and hard. The 5-6 is a little thin but not bad, gets better again around the 6. 

As a result of the visit, I sent my entry into the USFRA to attend the World Of Speed event September 14-17. We still have some things to do to prep the car, nothing major and we will have things in good order by the 1st of September.

As we know mother nature can pitch us a surprise but looks good at this point. No explanation as to why the salt is so much better this year, just plan to go and have fun.

Will post updates as the date gets closer. Hope to see you all on the salt.

Summer Update

After making two trips to the salt flats this summer to inspect the condition of the racing surface, I doubt we will make any runs this year. The salt crust is thin, fragile and very rough in spots. I do think it shows some signs of improvement over past years but still not good. My last visit was a couple of weeks ago immediately after the Speedweek event. I wanted to see how the race track held up with all the activity on it. It just is not in the condition where I am comfortable making any high speed attempts. We have been to 341 mph in the past and need to go faster!

The World Of Speed meet is in a couple of weeks and the World Finals the first week in October. I don't foresee any thing that will change or improve the salt conditions in the near term. Consequently we will be focusing on 2018.

We have made a bunch of somewhat minor upgrades to the car this past year and we are really comfortable with the changes and general condition of the car. We are ready when the salt is!


Spring update

We are planning on attending the World of Speed Meet September 15-18. The WOS is the usual meet for us, we like the low keyed atmosphere and the temperatures are much cooler than August. Have not had any reports on the salt flats for a while other than they were under water a month or so ago, which is not unusual. Hopefully we will get some drying conditions soon, likely won't know the actual condition of the race course until late June.

We have the backup emergency parachute deployment installed and it works great. After a lot of searching we found a pitch/roll sensing device that senses the car position and will trigger the chutes if we get to an "OS" moment. We have reworked the high speed chute system and have a new pilot chute for the HS as well. Really happy with the system now. 

We did the chassis set up on the car using scale pads in my shop recently, so we are ready for the salt. Just need to do a couple of minor tweaks to the Motec ECU.

Stay tuned for more updates as we get into the summer months. Let me know if you might be coming out to Bonneville this year.



Some Sad News

We lost a couple of good ones recently. Glenn Baxter who I worked with when I got out of college  and became long time friends with he and his wife Jo. Glenn  was a part of my Bonneville crew from the beginning. We will miss him.

We also lost long time friend and fellow Bonneville racer Bill Brooks. We first met at the salt flats in the early 1980's and had been close friends since. Bill was a very interesting guy and accomplished a lot of interesting things in his life. He was 100+ years young.

Click on their names to read their obits. God speed my friends! 


September 2016 Update

I am little slow in getting this update posted, sorry. With the salt at Bonneville being less than ideal we have decided to pass on running the car this year. I visited the salt in late July and determined that without some moisture so the crews could properly groom the course we would not run. As most of you know it has been extremely dry in the west this summer and we have not gotten any precipitation on the salt to any degree. As of this week the crew prepping for the World Of Speed event reported the salt was so hard they could not get the drags to “cut” the surface, consequently the racing surface is pretty rough commencing around the 4 mile. In fact the long course at the WOS will have the final set of timing lights at the 4-mile location instead of the usual 5-mile position. So, plans are now we will shoot for attending Speedweek 2017 in mid August.


The car is ready other than a little “race prep” and a coat of wax! We are installing a safety gizmo in the event the pilot (me) is a little slow on getting the laundry out should the car misbehave. I have been thinking about such a system for a while and the incident at Bonneville earlier this summer prompted me to move it up the priority list. We have designed a roll/pitch/yaw system that will automatically deploy the parachutes in the event the car gets crossed up and exceeds preset limits. We have “weather vane” type device on the nose, (kind of like a stall indicator in an airplane) which will provide a trigger to the chute system. We are testing a pretty cool solid-state device consisting three accelerometers and three gyros that combined provide a signal relative to roll and pitch. We need to provide an interface device between the sensor package and the chute deployment system. Hoot is working on designing and testing that interface and we are pretty confident it is going to work. Assuming the total system works as planned we will likely have one of the best systems for this purpose in motorsports. Pretty cool.

In order to satisfy my need to “do something” I am going to start repacking the storage bins for the trailer. Will be ready to load and go next August.

Please feel free to drop me a note or question at roger@clickllc.us.

New website

I have decided my Lessman Racing website needed refreshing. The old one developed by Blase Design served us well but it is time for something new. The new setup will allow a lot more flexibility and I will be able to easily update, add or change things around as our effort progresses. Feel free to offer comments as to how we can improve it. Thanks, Rog.

June 8, 2016

below is an update from the usfra regarding the salt. not sounding particularly good at this point. i also saw a report from one of the scta guys that had been out there a couple of weeks ago and there is a soft spot just past the two mile marker on the international course. that is about where the problem was two years ago that made me “wiggle”. will keep you posted as i hear more.


the world of speed is scheduled for sept 10-13, world finals sept 27-30

Latest news!!!
On Tuesday, June 7th, myself and several other persons visited the salt flats.The salt is still wet and there are some standing puddles around the international course. The thickness of the salt has not changed much from last year and in some places it maybe thinner.
After looking for several hours we think that there are a couple areas that we we can use for a test and tune course. We will be able to select a course after the salt has dried some more. As of this time the USFRA test and Tune is on, pending future weather conditions. Dennis Sullivan, Pres. USFRA