It took 46 years, but the Challenger II has finally returned to Bonneville! My crew and I are here for the 2014 USFRA Test and Tune. This will be our first opportunity to run the streamliner on the salt, and will provide us with the data we need for the upcoming SCTA and FIA events. We will not be attempting any record runs during the Test and Tune.
That said, it's absolutely bitching to be here. Most of the morning was taken up by the official tech inspection of the car. I also had to do a bailout test with the canopy down. For those of you that haven't attended an event, that basically involved an USFRA official screaming "fire" very convincingly while I scrambled out of my belts, HANS device, and cockpit as quickly as possible. I've practiced that particular move a few times over the years though, so it all went pretty smoothly.
The latter half of the day was all about capturing images of the car with the help of our amazing photographers Holly Martin and Peter Vincent. Unfortunately, the weather chose not to cooperate, so our golden hour became dark clouds and light showers. That's okay though, because in my opinion, the car looks damn good rain or shine.
Tomorrow will be the first day that we get to run, so we'll have a chance to learn whether the last four years of work have been leading us in the right direction. I can't wait!