Bonneville Speed Week 2016 was the first time that racers had gathered out at the salt flats in Western Utah since the races were held in 2013. I’ve gone out in previous years, in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012, and it is safe to say that almost to a person, all the racers were grateful to be out here again. The reason for the hiatus was poor conditions of the salt, which is a controversy. Some blame the salt mining operations, others claim there are other issues at play. Regardless, scientists from the University of Utah are studying the condition of the salt flats for the next couple of years to have a better idea of why the salt is disappearing. All that said, the racers were glad to be back out racing again and the issue of the salt condition is on everyone’s mind.
Previous years, I’ve carried a mix of gear including Canon with big lenses and spotting scopes to capture the action. This year, I decided to simplify the photography kit and go much lighter and more agile by going with 2 Fuji cameras. All of the photos here were made with either the Fuji X-Pro2 or the Fuji X-T1 with the Fuji 16mm f/1.4 lens on the X-Pro2 and the Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens with 2.0x extender.
What follows is a small sampling of the hundreds of racers that appeared out on the salt flats to see how fast their equipment can take them. It is hard to express the scale of the racing out here without some form of arial photography, so I have focused on the desolation of racing out here.