Land-speed record setter Cliff Gullett was killed in a 385 kmh (239 mph) crash on Wednesday at Bonneville Salt Flats.
Gullett, who owns Team Bozeman Motorsports in Montana and was rider of the Costella-Gullett Motorcycle Streamliner, was performing a 500 cc class Streamliner speed trial when he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed. He was 49.
He had set three records just two weeks earlier, running an official 219.097 mph on the salt for one of them. A mercury switch problem on the final leg of the run set off his parachute brake, but Gullett retained control, and completed his timed run before the chute deployed.
His record bested the previous one of 195.282 mph, set by Don Vesco in 1976.
In the fatal run, he was attempting to beat a 500 cc Fuel record set in 1958 of 212.288 mph. He had made his second run, setting a record that has yet to be ratified by the governing racing body for the Bonneville event.
To learn more about Cliff Gullett, see teambullett.blogspot.com.