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Speed Record S.A. ::: Speed Records ::: Motivator ::: Team Maximum Impulse

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The Venue
Posted by :
Ray Wakefield - Date: 9 Oct 2003 at 14:52

Team Maximum Impulse are currently investigating a number of venues in the Northern Cape area of South Africa .

Any potential venue needs to fulfil a number of basic criteria, useable length (not less than 5 miles or 8 km), useable width, and surface type, the ideal surface for a vehicle running on solid metal wheels being a dry lake bed.

From their work in the United Kingdom and on the flats in Utah , USA , Team Maximum Impulse has demonstrated that their operations can be conducted with minimal environmental impact. The motorcycle is only under power for thirty seconds during each powered run and leaves only wheel racked behind after engine noise subsides.

In the USA the team followed and encouraged all visitors to abide by the Bureau of Land Management’s “Leave No Trace” code of conduct – ‘pack out what you pack in, leave the site cleaner than found, leave natural and cultural resources intact’.

The team has been informed that South Africa has a similar code – “leave only your footprints, take only your memories” and the team will ensure that those following our efforts see and hear this message.

The presence of the team, which numbers over 20 people, will enhance the economy of the selected location as they will live in the area during the time period allocated for the bid. Numbers will be increased by the many media personnel wishing to be present to broadcast the story of the attempt live to the rest of the world. The journalists, camera personnel and sound records will enhance the numbers investing in the local community – perhaps threefold.

Before the bid can start and to protect the bike’s wheels the chosen track area used has to be cleared of all foreign objects – known as FOD. Mainly this is expected to be stones and rocks but could be any solid object left on the surface. This process can be labour intensive and the permanent team will need assistance from members of the local population. Marking out the course alignment will require labour and specialist surveyors will be needed to measure the timing distances.

There may well be the need for additional local personnel to act as venue marshals during the attempt to guide people to the correct viewing locations and to prevent vehicles wandering into dangerous places. The number of local people used will depend upon the final location and its relationship to populated areas and access roads & tracks. To protect the track surface a night time security presence may be hired.

Whilst much of this work does no require great skills it is vital t the success of the World Record attempt. An attempt that would be the first outright Motorcycle Land Speed Record achieved on the continent of Africa.

 

From the experience of operating in the USA the team would expect to contribute directly to local business not less than £80 000 sterling (US$120 000 or 880 000 SA Rand ).

In anticipation of being in a remote location the team hope to secure support amounting to over £250 000 (2 750 000 SA Rand) from sponsors wishing to become involved in a World class event in South Africa . The team will bring specialist equipment with them to the attempt but general items such as vehicle hire, food, accommodation, internal flights, workshop space rental, medical services and much more would come from within South Africa . To make the official attempt, fees and costs will be paid to Motorsport South Africa – the governing body in the country affiliated to the FIM.

 

It is difficult to determine the value of the publicity that will arise from an event marketed as the ‘ South Africa World Land Speed Attempt’.

As a unique World class event there will be publicity for South Africa as a Nation. In the period 1997 to 1999 it is estimated that the teams main sponsors received media coverage valued at between five and ten timed their financial investment. It repeated during the South African attempt then sponsors and contributors could receive exposure that if it were paid advertising would exceed £2, 000, 000.00 sterling in value. This amount is equivalent to $3, 000.00 or 22, 000,000.00 SA Rand. Of course many sponsors and contributors enhance their involvement through dedicated public relations campaigns, either run in house or using outside agencies. At the time of writing the documentary and news broadcast rights of the team have yet to be sold to an appropriate broadcasting and filming organisation.

The Team can make presentations (at dates and in placed to be agreed) to inform all interested parties (landowners and other public agencies) of the Teams proposed activity and its operating plans. The team will meet the Province insurance requirements and have a place a public liability insurance policy that will meet the requirements of the FIM governing body, he MSA and the ACU.

 

The period leading up the record attempt is split into a number of phases, each with its own clearly defined tasks and targets.

The aim of Phase One is to finalise the selection of a venue. This will involve ensuring that the venue chosen has a suitable surface and environmental conditions to allow a successful record attempt to take place. In order to determine if the surface is suitable, a test vehicle to evaluate its interaction with the solid metal wheels has been constructed in Port Elizabeth . This machine, called 'Motivator' , will be taken to the chosen venue for trials which are scheduled to take place shortly.

Phase Two would be focussed on carrying out the necessary preparation of the bike and planning for the record attempt.

Phase Three would take place in the weeks immediately prior to the record attempt, properly in late May 2003 and would involve the preparation of the tracks to be used for the attempt and the setting up of the infrastructure required at the attempt location.

Phase Four would be the record attempt itself, and would be of a duration of around three weeks, properly in June 2003.

 

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