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Bonneville SpeedWeek

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Today, over 500 teams from around the world have gathered on Utah's sun-baked Bonneville Salt Flats, bringing their high tech (and vintage) motor vehicles to the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek. The Southern California Timing Association hosts the annual event on the hard salt shell that covers the desert floor, setting up straight tracks that can reach as far as nine miles. Records are already being set this year, with speeds reaching over 350 miles per hour (560 kph). Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart traveled out to the scene near the Utah/Nevada border to capture some of the sights of Bonneville SpeedWeek 2011. [29 photos]

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Jeannie Pflum makes a run on the Butler, Pflum & Wagner motorcycle during the second day of the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek on the Bonneville Salt Flats outside Wendover, Utah, on August 14, 2011. Hundreds of drag race cars will attempt to set land speed records during the course of the week. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
Jeannie Pflum makes a run on the Butler, Pflum & Wagner motorcycle during the second day of the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek on the Bonneville Salt Flats outside Wendover, Utah, on August 14, 2011. Hundreds of drag race cars will attempt to set land speed records during the course of the week. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
The temperature nears 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) during the second day of the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Dave Lloyd of Canadian Arrow Williams team stays cool in the driver's seat with a fan during the second day of the Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The No Nitro Hammond lakester makes a run during the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, outside Wendover, Utah, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Monique Sache of Vancouver, Canada, photographs race cars during the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Gilles Pujol of the French team Les Triplettes de Bonneville works on his motorcycle before the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Munz & Busby roadster makes a run during the second day of the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Dennis Varni streamliner makes a run during the third day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Race fans Chuck Cummings (left) and Bill Flint place plastic pink flamingos in the salt near their viewing area during the third day Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Bob Jackson works on his modified roadster during the first day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
RPM Racing's Civic spins out of control during the third day Bonneville SpeedWeek, on the Bonneville Salt Flats outside Wendover, Utah, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Costella/Cunha Nebulous Theorem VIII streamliner makes a run during Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Fabio Montani of Italy, after completing a run in his streamliner during the third day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Race inspectors look over the Spirit of the Lakes' modified race car during Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Jeff Erwin of Seattle, Washington walks to his video camera on the salt at Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Blowfish Barracuda makes a run during the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Ferguson Racing's streamliner race car makes a run at the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Scout jumps on her owner's legs, as her owner, Jim Mosher, has his motorcycle inspected during Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Crew members work on the Spirit of Rett streamliner before dawn on the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Larry Whiteley rides his custom bicycle on the salt during the first day of the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Contrivance Engineering race car makes a run during the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Brant-Wright-Speranza streamliner deploys a chute at the end of its run during the third day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Tim Mersereau prepares his 1941 Ford Coupe for a run during the third day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Spectators use umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun during Bonneville SpeedWeek, on the Bonneville Salt Flats outside Wendover, Utah, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Kevin Brooks pushes his vintage BMW motorcycle to be inspected during the first day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The 2 Richards Racing roadster makes a run during the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Fabio Montani of Italy completes a run in his streamliner during Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Rick Vesco of Vesco Racing prepares before getting in his team's streamliner during the second day of Bonneville SpeedWeek, on August 14, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The sun rises before the third day of the 63rd annual Bonneville SpeedWeek on the Bonneville Salt Flats outside Wendover, Utah, on August 15, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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