Driver Dave Spangler & crew member Bill Lee give a thumbs up!
Team Vesco and TURBINATOR II arrived bright and early on October 1 for the World Finals Speed event on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The car was inspected, tuned up and ready to run the next day. The first and only run driver Dave Spangler made was a blistering 493 mph run with an incredible top speed of 503 mph! Never in the history of land speed racing has a car with an internal combustion engine that drives the wheels on pneumatic tires clocked such a speed. The powerful T55-L-712 Shaft Gas Turbine with it's nearly 5000 horse power from Advanced Turbine Services (ATS) did the trick!
Team Vesco's dedicated crew prepared the car in impound for a return run the following day to put the record in the books. However, the rains came causing the event to be closed after the only day of running. Team Vesco is looking forward to future improvements with the car and hopes to complete the runs for the first official record for a wheel driven car over 500 mph.
TEAM VESCO WILL RACE THE TURBINATOR II #111 AND THE LITTLE GIANT #444 IN 2021
Turbinator II will run our new T55L-714A turbine engine. The 714A has about 13% more horsepower (according to Honeywell) than the T55L-712F that we ran in 2018 when the exit speed was 503.332 M.P.H. We have added water injection to help control the exhaust gas temperature even though the more modern 714 is expected to naturally run cooler than the 712.
Team Vesco has been to the test cell at Nebraska Gas Turbine two times and will test one more time. Scott Clark of Realtuners, our control engineer and Ken Braccio of Advanced Turbine Servicesare encouraged by the results so far and are confident that our power system will be READY for Speed Week. The goal is to set a National Record over 500 M.P.H. This would be epic.
Dave Spangler will drive the Turbinator. Dave is a member of the 400 MPH Chapter of the 200 MPH Club and the first ever over 500 M.P.H. in a wheel driven car.
"Little Giant" is going ELECTRIC! The 444 car will be running for the National Electric Vehicle category 3 record of 314.958 M.P.H. The currect record is held by the Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet. Our overarching goal is to exceed the current World Record of 341.4. M.P.H., also held by the Buckeye Bullet.
We have partnered with Revolt Systems (Eddy Borysewicz and Trent Wonsley) to provide the high output electric drive system. ReVolt Systems will use two reconfigured and enhanced Tesla based motors. ReVolt Systems' business model is to provide high output electric conversions for classic American cars.
Eric Ritter will be the driver of "The Little Giant." Eric is a member of the 300 MPH Chapter of the 200 MPH Club and has driven over 430 M.P.H. in 2017.
Running both cars for these aggressive goals will be a huge challenge. Team Vesco is depending on the continued support of its always dedicated crew more than ever before.
Rick Vesco and Driver Dave Spangler received honors at the 80th Annual SCTA Awards Banquet in Pomona, California. SCTA-BNI sanctioned events, 2018 Speed Week and World Finals, were the venues for Team Vesco's TURBINATOR II to set the Fastest National Bonneville Car Record in history 482.646 mph, Fastest Wheel Driven Flying Mile 493.037 mph and Fastest Top Speed 503.332 mph.
Driver Dave Spangler and car owner/builder Rick Vesco
TURBINATOR II SPECS
T55-GA-714A Shaft Gas Turbine
PTO 16000 rpm
Reduction gear box 2:1
Diff. gear ratio 1.174
Wheel base 21'
Tread width fr. 17" r. 12"
Body width 36"
Overall length 36 ft.
Weight 4950 lb.
Tires Mickey Thompson 24.5 x 7.50-16 Spl. Bonneville
KSLSalt Lake City sports news reporter Alex Cabrero visited with Team Vesco on the salt flats to find out about Dave Spangler and TURBINATOR'S historic 503 mph run.