Loring hosts speed trials

12 years ago
By Tom Hale
Special to the Star-Herald

    LIMESTONE — The former Loring Air Force Base was the site of the third annual Loring Timing Association’s Speed Trials. Racers from all over the world converged on the fastest 1.5-mile speed trial venue in the United States.

    Over 1,000 spectators and participants were not disappointed with the results of hundreds of passes on the runway. Last year’s world record holder, Bill Warner of Wimauma, Fla., returned to set the fastest speed for the mile in his highly-modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa. In the early morning hours Sunday morning with a favorable light wind and cool temperatures, Warner traveled 290 miles per hour in one mile.

 

    Warner was disappointed that he did not reach 300 mph in the mile.

    “The bike I know was capable of doing it. I made the mistake of miscounting my shifts,” Warner said. “I thought I was in sixth gear when I was in fifth gear and it just didn’t do it. I am not happy with my run but am satisfied.”

    The number of racers from Maine was up from previous years. Approximately 20 of the 140 entrants were from the state. The fastest car from Maine belonged to Jim Clemons of Harpswell, who turned in a speed of 208.01 mph to set the A-Gas Altered class record.

    Clemons was one of the seven team members who drove the 1957 Studebaker owned by Butler-McKinney Racing Team from the Augusta area. The reliable racer was powered by a 482-cubic inch, 756 horsepower Chevy built by Butler McMasters Automotive of Hallowell.

    Gregg Adams, a retired banker from Rocky Mount, N.C., is spending the first months of his retirement following the Land Speed Racing circuit. He came from the Wilmington Mile East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) Speed Trials held in Wilmington, Ohio to the races at Loring.

    “Loring needs to have more than two events per year,” Adams said. “It is spectacular what they are doing this year with two courses running at the same time allowing racers multiple runs. It is incredible!”

    Caribou’s Adrian Tauer set a class record for production cars in the 1.2 to 1.5 liter supercharged category at 125.794 miles per hour. Tauer drives a Toyota Yaris which most people consider an economy car.

    “A stock Yaris’ would have about 90 horsepower at the wheels. Mine produces 210 horsepower with a custom built turbocharger kit,” Tauer said.

    Jason Theriault of JRT Customs in Caribou came up short of his goal to go 200 mph with his 1995 Nissan D21 Hardbody mini pickup. Sporting over 1,000 horsepower with his turbocharged four cylinder engine, Theriault went 190 mph before a driveshaft broke.

    The gleaming black 1972 Chevelle raced by Dwayne Gagnon of Caribou was powered by a fuel injected LS 454 Chevy small block engine. He began the weekend with some small problems that come with new race cars. Once those “bugs” were worked out, Gagnon was able to turn speeds near the 170 mph mark. His goal was 175 mph, which he plans to attain at the fall speed trials at Loring.

    Limestone’s Jesse Michaud tried several tuning techniques on his 2006 Yamaha YZ 250 motorcycle, yet was unable to reach the 132 mph speed which would have made his machine the fastest dirt bike in the world. He also plans to be ready for the fall event at Loring.

    Some unique race vehicles at the Loring event included a street luge powered by a 500 cc Harley Davidson engine. The luge, ridden by Roland Morrison of Deerfield, N.J., set a record by travelling 165 mph.

    Eva Håkansson of Gothenberg, Sweden set the record for the fastest electric sidecar streamliner motorcycle at 158.29 mph in the mile and 181.053 in the mile and one half. 

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Contributed photo/Dave Allen Graphics

    FAST MACHINE — The Streamliner Electric Motorcycle Killajoule, driven by Eva Håkansson,  reached a top speed of 149.6 during this run Sunday during the Loring Timing Association’s Land Speed Trails held at the former Loring Air Force Base.

    Organizers Mark Sotomayor of Easton and Tim Kelly of Presque Isle seemed to be pleased with the overall event as they now plan for the land speed race in the fall.