In a break with tradition, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in the 2016 International Historic Motoring Awards, in association with Octane magazine and EFG private bank, went to a place and the events held there, rather than to a person. At a glittering gala dinner at London’s magnificent Guildhall, the highest accolade of the evening went to America’s Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed Racing, in tribute to over 100 years of inspirational achievements in a unique location. The award is sponsored by Richard Mille.
Octane Publishing Director Geoff Love explained: “For over a century the Bonneville Salt Flats have been the scene of innumerable speed record attempts. We all know of the successes there of George Eyston, John Cobb and Al Teague for example, but everybody from car and tyre manufacturers to college students with trucks powered by used vegetable oil have traveled to this vast expanse of land to try to set their own records. No other place has inspired so many people to such a level, and this award goes to the place itself and to all of those enthusiasts who have endeavored to take a minute, a second or a fraction of a second off a speed record there.”
Originally nominated by “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth in the “Motorsport of the Year” category, the IHMA Judging Panel recognized the dire ecological plight facing amateur racing brought about by decades of BLM mismanagement that allowed the once five-foot thick, concrete hard salt crust to wither to an almost paper thin layer less than a half-inch in many places and elevated Bonneville to the group’s most prestigious honor.
“We may well witness the end of land speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats in our lifetime,” warned Noeth, the acknowledged LSR author and historical expert. “Racing returned in 2016 after two years of rainouts that diluted the fragile crust to a point that many of the plus 300MPH speed machines chose to pack up and go home instead of risking a wreck. I am so very grateful for the recognition spotlight the IHMA has cast upon the home of so many extraordinary speed deeds by ordinary people.”
Celebrating ‘the best of the best’ in the international historic motoring industry, the Guildhall saw the great and the good of the industry come together from around the world to discover who had won the hotly-contested awards.
For a full list of category winners: www.historicmotoringawards.com.