#2438: Gutterace

I’m mad keen on the engineering of speed records. Driving at enormous speed across salt or mud flats is fraught with difficulties, however.

These natural materials are flat because of the evaporation of water from their surfaces, but they still have quite a scaly, dusty texture, which makes route selection problematic and grip uneven.


Today’s invention is a permanent, uniform track enabling record attempts to be made almost anywhere with the political will to spend the money (countries at higher altitudes may also have an advantage).

First, lay a 15-mile railway track with a super-strong substrate and horizontal to a very finely controlled level of precision. The track would need a loop at either end

Then lay on top of that long sections of big-diameter open concrete gutter (say 5m in diameter). These could be standard civil engineering components but with extra careful caulking at the joints.

The effect would be to create a very smooth, open channel down which a variety of vehicles could be propelled under reproducible conditions.