This flower runs on wood…alcohol.
The 22-foot-long Flower of Scotland will attempt to set a land speed record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats this weekend during the annual Speed Week event.
The streamliner competes in the 1.0-liter class for wheel-driven cars and is hoping to break the existing mark of 313 mph set in 2003.
To do so, it uses a 700 hp turbocharged Kawasaki motorcycle engine that has been converted to run on methanol, which is colloquially known as “wood alcohol” as it was originally produced from wood, but is now commonly derived from natural gas through the process of steam reformation.
Popular among racers for its high octane rating and low cost, it was once the fuel of choice at the Indy 500 and, according to The Methanol Institute, currently sells for as little as $1.07 a gallon in some parts of the country.
This will be the team’s second trip to Bonneville, after posting a high speed of 270 mph in 2011. This time around they are not just planning on breaking the record, but have set their sights on 350 mph.
The car will be driven by 24 Hours of Le Mans veteran Rick Pearson, who the Speed Scotland team says is one of only three people in the United Kingdom who has a license to drive over 300 mph.
Where do we get one of those?