Land Speed Racing – Texas Mile
250.1 mph / Record
250 mph. An impressive speed, regardless of how you reach the mark. What makes the efforts of Richard Holt in his Underground Racing Twin Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera even more impressive is that Holt was able to hit that speed within the distance of one mile. From a standing start.
Land speed record attempts usually take place in such storied locations as Bonneville or Black Rock, where the competitors have several miles to reach their top speed and several miles to haul their projectile of choice back down to standstill. At the Texas Mile they do things a bit differently. This event, held at Chase Field, a former naval air station facility, is run on the relatively short confines of a 9500′ runway. Here you get one mile to reach your top speed and only one half mile to get it back down to zero before you run out of paved real estate. And at these speeds that is not much room to work.
To hit his terminal velocity target of 250 mph in that distance, car owner Richard Holt went to the Lamborghini experts at Underground Racing to give the already powerful 5.0L V10 more high speed motivation. Underground Racing had just the solution in the form of, Bugatti Veyron fans may want to grab a chair, 1900 hp of twin-turbocharged modifications. Keeping the charge air temperatures in check in this beast of a forced induction system is a Bell Intercoolers liquid/air intercooler.
While getting up to a top speed of 250.1 mph is pretty impressive it may just be the slowing down side of the equation that is truly dangerous. Unlike slowing down from highway speeds, at 250 mph things are considerably more complex. And at the Texas Mile that complexity is multiplied by the fact that you have just one half mile to stop. To put this into perspective at 250 mph you will cover one half mile in approximately seven seconds. Not much time, or distance, to scrub off that much speed.
For that reason that it may be awhile before Richard and his twin-turbo Gallardo return to the Texas Mile. In October of 2010, while attempting to improve on his record speed, a crosswind during drag chute deployment sent the Lamborghini off course and into a dramatic series of flips. Fortunately Richard walked away from the accident without serious injury, though the car was effectively destroyed.