Inclement weather in the cradle of land speed record setting has forced the BAR F1 team to put its own attempt on hold for the time being.

The onset of heavy rain in north-west Utah left up to an inch of standing water covering the seven-mile course on the legendary Bonneville salt flats, and meteorological reports and forecasts suggest that the ambient temperature in the region over the next week will not be enough to cause the moisture to evaporate in time for the team's scheduled record shot between 5-8 October.

Senior members of the team's Bonneville 400 project have flown out to the venue to assess the conditions and determine when a return might be possible. As a result, the special project team is on standby to return at the earliest opportunity.

"The adverse weather conditions in Bonneville have given us no other option but to postpone the scheduled running of the BAR Honda 067 on the Bonneville salt flats," sporting director Gil de Ferran confirmed, "This is a short-term disappointment to the team of course, but the very nature of attempting to run a car at speeds in excess of 400kph on a natural surface means it is always susceptible to bad weather, and we were fully prepared for this eventuality. We will be rescheduling our record attempt once our observation team returns to Brackley, but are determined to get back out to Utah again as soon as possible."

Mike Cook of the Southern California Timing Association, who is assisting the team on its attempt, said that BAR was not the first to fall victim to the conditions in Utah.

"Unfortunately, BAR Honda is just the latest victim of the unpredictable weather in this area," he explained, "Bonneville has a unique micro-climate and it is impossible to predict the long-range weather conditions around here with any accuracy.

"It may come as some consolation for the team to know that they aren't alone. Throughout the history of land speed record attempts here, many have been adversely affected by the weather. It's almost a spiritual rite of passage for record setters at Bonneville, and will represent a test of the team's mettle."


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