LandSpeed Louise Comments: American motorsports is under attack again! If the RPM Act does not pass the US Senate every car pictured here – and thousands more –  will  become illegal and subject to federal prosecution.  SEMA worked for years sorting out details for strong pollution controls and compliance testing on street vehicles as well what applied to those converted to race-only. It all went well for decades and then, without any precipitating event, the EPA changed it mind any decided ANY vehicle built for the street CAN NEVER BE ALTERED for racing without violating FEDERAL LAW!  How the interpretation changed is a mystery. SEMA responded and worked to reiterate its strong support for clean air, but not at the expense of thousands of enthusiasts who use their vehicles only for racing — in operation drastically less time and drastically much better state of tune than if street driven.

I was part of the original emissions testing rules and regs development to work out cut-points, testing procedures and education at the city, state and federal levels. My national article, “Vehicle Arrest”, brought understanding, cooperation and positive changes to all involved. Led by SEMA, the charge to reasonable began with Bob Burch and Russ Deane, who were  quickly joined by Vic Edelbrock, Jr., Scooter Brothers, John Lingenfelter, Bruce Crower, Harvey Crane and few others whom I don’t recall  – we all dedicated ourselves to making America better place to breathe and race on a daily basis. 

That this earnest, honest work is unraveling is 30 years later is just this side of nuts. Be very clear: this is not partisan, but the work of a couple people in the EPA who felt inclined to upend a successful public private partnership. I am not exaggerating or blowing this out of proportion. I urge EVERY eyeball reading this to be sure to click on the link below that gives you a quick way to tell your respective elected senators that you support the RPM Act. Details below.   

SEMA News Release:

SEMA President & CEO Chris Kersting today praised U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) along with 24 original cosponsors for reintroducing S. 2602, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2019 (RPM Act). This bipartisan bill protects Americans’ right to convert street vehicles into dedicated race cars and the motorsports parts industry’s right to sell products that enable racers to compete.

The RPM Act confirms that transforming motor vehicles into race cars used exclusively for competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. This American tradition was unquestioned for nearly 50 years until 2015 when the EPA took the position that converted street vehicles that compete on the track must remain emissions-compliant, even though they are not driven on public streets or highways. The EPA also maintains that the equipment used to transform a street vehicle into a race car is prohibited.

“SEMA looks forward to working with Congress to enact the RPM Act and make permanent the Clean Air Act’s original intention that race vehicle conversions are legal,” said Kersting. “We thank Senators Burr and Manchin for reintroducing a bill that will protect businesses that produce, install and sell the parts that enable racers to compete.”

The RPM Act cleared several major legislative hurdles in the previous Congress, including passage by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee. The bill also received hearings in both the House and Senate, which underscored the importance of motorsports as a great American pastime and economic stimulus in communities across the country. Lawmakers were able to find a pathway to a consensus on the language of the bill last session, positioning it to become law in the 2019-2020 Congress.

“American racing runs on traditions,” said Senator Burr. “For more than 50 years, motorsports enthusiasts have purchased cars and modified them to race, off of public roads. However, this tradition was threatened when the Obama EPA attempted to make these modifications illegal. This legislation upholds Congress’ intent of the Clean Air Act and protects motorsports, for professionals and amateurs alike, for years to come. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation, and I look forward to seeing it move through the Senate.”

Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a nearly $2 billion market annually. A majority of the estimated 1,300 race tracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, dirt and off-road tracks, feature converted race vehicles that the EPA now considers to be illegal.

“A big part of the fun of motorsports is the tradition of modifying regular cars into race cars,” said Senator Manchin. “This legislation upholds amendments to the Clean Air Act that exempt modified vehicles and race cars from certain environmental regulations, protecting motorsports for years to come. I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan bill and look forward to the boost it will give to motorsports.”

It is important that members of Congress hear from the racing and automotive enthusiast communities about the importance of passing the RPM Act into law during this session of Congress.

To write a letter to your U.S. Senators, visit sema.org/rpm.

For updates and additional information:
– visit sema.org/epa-news
facebook.com/sema.org
twitter.com/semamembers
instagram.com/semashow
– use #saveourracecars, #rpmact

LandSpeed Louise comments: “Keen kudos to Karl for his exceptionally complete and correct contribution to the historical record of land speed racing. His book has garnered the attention and respect of not only very appreciative readers, but that of colleagues. Until Karl dug in, most motorsports people today had no idea what Railton did, had forgotten, or that he ever existed. Readers have but to scan but a few pages to realize what a void has been filled. All should be prepared to be absorbed into yesterday. “

LONDON (Oct. 19, 2019) – Karl Ludvigsen’s book, “Reid Railton: Man of Speed,”has won the coveted Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (English) for 2019. Presented by the Society of Automotive Historians in the United States, this award is made each year to the book that best advances the understanding of the history of the automobile.
 
Supported by Railton’s daughter Sally Railton Joslin, “Reid Railton: Man of Speed”is the first book dedicated to the life and career of Reid Antony Railton, automotive engineer par excellence and the creator of an extraordinary range of cars. He rose to renown during the 1930s as chief engineer at Thomson & Taylor, Brooklands-based racing-car builders. There he realized the dreams of that era’s top men of speed, including Tim Birkin, Malcolm Campbell, Whitney Straight, John Cobb, Raymond Mays and Goldie Gardner. His great cars powered them all to sensational racing and record-breaking success.
 
“It was the joy of a lifetime to have the opportunity to write about Reid Railton, whose work I have admired for many years,” said Ludvigsen. “I was especially happy for my work to be honored this year, when the SAH celebrates its 50th anniversary. It is also significant for readers to be reminded of Railton at a time when the Bloodhound, another great British land-speed venture, is nearing its first major trial in South Africa. Its aerodynamicist wrote the book’s Foreword!
 
“I was lucky in finding revealing Railton vignettes such as his solving of a mysterious noise in a Hudson prototype. For a 21st-century audience I endeavored to set Railton’s work within the context of his times so it could be better understood by the modern reader. I hope this contributes to a better appreciation of the career of an engineer who deserves to be ranked among the greats of Britain and the world.”
 
Published by Evro Publishing in April 2018, this magisterial two-volume work by one of the world’s foremost automotive historians tells Reid Railton’s personal and professional story in superb detail and fascinating depth. Set against the turbulent background of the 1930s and 1940s, its special focus is on Ludvigsen’s interpretation of Reid’s unique insights – amounting to genius – and technical accomplishments. All are illuminated in 1,000 images in this superbly designed and beautifully produced book.
 
The Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (English) is this book’s fifth award and its second in the United States. Its other awards are the Mercedes-Benz Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy (presented by the Guild of Motoring Writers), the Royal Automobile Club’s Specialist Motoring Book of the Year, the Michael Sedgwick Award (presented by Society of Automotive Historians in Britain) and Best Automotive Heritage Book (presented by the Automotive Heritage Awards).
 
About the author:
Karl Ludvigsen is respected as a close and knowledgeable observer of, and participant in, the world motor industry. In addition to his activities as an executive with GM, Fiat and Ford and head of a consulting company, he has been active for over 60 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some six dozen books to his credit, most concerning cars, drivers, racing and technology, his life-long passion. Many have been garlanded for their high standard of writing and research. The 2019 SAH award is Ludvigsen’s fifth Cugnot prize. He and his wife Annette live in Suffolk, UK.

“Save The Salt”, the volunteer land speed racing group formed to protect the famed international speedway, recently hosted a CBS Network News crew at the Bonneville Salt Flats – at least what is left of it. . .

For those who missed the live broadcast, the show is available using the hot link below.
The Bonneville segment is just over eight minutes in length.
CBS NEWS: Debate Rages Over the Future of the Bonneville Salt Flats

On Saturday, October 5th, 2019, CBS This Morning aired a report on conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The CBS network news crew spent two days on the salt in mid-September observing the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s “World of Speed” event where they spoke with more than a dozen racers, officials and spectators about the unchecked decline in salt crust thickness — essential to safe land speed racing and record setting for amateur motorsports.

I was grateful for the high level of professional journalism demonstrated by CBS This Morning co-host Jeff Glor, producer Dan Ruetenik and cameraman Roger Masterton who conducted interviews with USFRA President Dennis Sullivan and Veteran land speed racer Rick Vesco, both of whom have donated countless hours to the effort to restore Bonneville.

It is my firm belief that restoring Bonneville will require the support of the American public and America won’t support something it doesn’t care about. America can’t care about something it doesn’t know about. That where CBS helped change the conversation and this report was the first national news report about the decline salt crust conditions essential to same amateur motorsports.

Historical racing footage was provided by Pete Farnsworth, builder of the Blue Flame Rocket Car, Danny Thompson shared clips of his father Mickey’s original Challenger runs, Al and Jane Teague’s Spirit of 76 streamliner, and TEAM Vesco of the 500MPH Turbinator along with film clips going back to the 1950s.

Save the Salt is working with local, state and federal government officials and the mine lease holder to implement a 10-year Restore Bonneville program. It will dramatically increase the amount of salt being pumped onto Bonneville after potash is removed. The current pumping program has helped stabilize Bonneville, but the infrastructure must be upgraded in order to restore this historic landmark. In early 2019, the State of Utah appropriated $5 million to the restoration process, contingent upon receiving $45 million from the federal government and other sources. The program will be administered by the State of Utah in coordination with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

For more details: www.savethesalt.org

3 Aug, 2019  |  Written by  |  under Motorsports

If you want to see tire screeching, big-screen heart-thumping race car battling go see something else. This ain’t it.

What you’ll get from this film is a splendid, honest portrayal of Garth Stein’s book that explains – in the most believable way – precisely what motorized competition is all about. And it ain’t sponsorship.

Here, direct from the thoughtful, passionate, discerning mind of a dog, the audience learns what it takes to be a winner on the race track. Any race track.

There is a refreshing lack of razzle bedazzle Hollywood crazy stunt driving. In fact, the many multimillion dollar race cars are merely respectful window dressing, allowing the more important aspect of the absorbing 109 minute story to be delivered one believable, welcome bit at a time. Frankly, anyone who ever earned a checkered flag will cheat themselves by NOT seeing this film. The rest will come away knowing their time was well spent. This is a story well told.

There is no fidgeting, no boring bits, or eye-rolling stupidness. This film is an invitation into the head, heart and mind of the world’s top race car drivers.

Interestingly, most of the profound comments from Enzo the dog (voiced by Kevin Costner) come straight from real deal racer/instructor Don Kitch Jr who has driven the talk for decades. The guy understands lefty-righty grab the pedal almighty just like he understands how to breathe.

And about the storyline. . . Milo Ventimiglia plays Denny Swift, a determined, talented road racer who earns his living wage in a Seattle auto repair shop but drives for glory on the weekends seeking a chance join the professional ranks. He gets the girl, and another girl before all hell lets loose, but Swift never lifts thanks to Enzo.

Stein was sincerely influenced by a National Geographic show about dogs in Mongolia. Having spent extended time in the Steppes of Asia, that aspect of the tale resonated with me on several levels.

This film is a grand cinematic journey that some might want to take more than once. I will.

Review by “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth | Copyright 2019

Once more, Host Mark Greene invited me to be a guest on Cars Yeah. I love the guy who’s motto is” Inspiring Automotive Enthusiasts™

It was a great opportunity to educate listeners about the dire circumstances facing all the amateur land sped racers out on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Learn why motorsports worldwide can thank the Bureau of Land Management for decades of mind-blowing mismanagement.

• The interview is now live on Cars Yeah, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

• If you can, please share this interview on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media with this link: Cars Yeah

LISTEN HERE: http://carsyeah.com/ourportfolio/1116-louise-noeth/

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