Maurice de Mauriac and his driver Rick Pearson at the Bonneville 300 MPH Club
Enter the 300mph club
Like the adventurers who have discovered new horizons, there are others who manage to touch another world, ephemeral and marvellous, where time stops, as if suspended in another dimension by the gods of the road.
This is what Rick Pearson experienced when he joined the exclusive club of drivers who have exceeded 300 mph (or 482.8 km/h). To date, less than a hundred of them have achieved this crazy feat, requiring extraordinary courage.
Rick’s experience on the Bonneville Salt Lake in Utah was aboard the streamliner “Flower of Scotland”. The vehicle, which is very long to optimise air penetration, is driven by a Kawasaki 1,000 cm³ engine developing several hundred horsepower at 11,000 rpm. In order to push its limits, the machine is cooled in a simple and efficient, even archaic way, with ice cubes. And to prevent fire, the pilot has an infrared camera that projects an image of the engine compartment into the cockpit. Also two oil and coolant temperature indicators complete the damage detection package. In this case, the pilot will only be able to rely on two parachute release levers and three fire extinguisher buttons. If it is a simple fire and he has time to activate them.
At this speed, the senses are severely tested. The field of vision is extremely narrow, and the noise of the free-running engine literally cuts you off from the outside world. All you are left with is your body and the sensations it transmits to you, enclosed in a narrow metal box 56 cm wide, travelling at 499 km/h. And all this while being suspended a few centimetres above the ground. At this point, the slightest mechanical anomaly, the slightest steering error, and the vehicle instantly disintegrates. Madness, you think? Certainly! But above all, it was a moment of magic, of ultimate concentration, of fusion between man and machine, and the culmination of sixteen years of development work by an entire team. The adventure was a success, with a team able to celebrate a great victory with dignity. And naturally, the partnership between Rick Pearson and Maurice de Maurillac will be celebrated with a superb watch: the Maurice de Maurillac “L2 Bronze”, which can be found on the brand’s website.
More information on www.mauricedemauriac.ch