Valerie Thompson to Pilot 50,000 HP NAE

BUB Bonneville Salt Flats

The North American Eagle (NAE) team of Spanaway, Wash., is joining forces with two-time motorcycle land-speed record holder Valerie Thompson to break some new records at the Bonneville Salt Flats this year.

Valerie Thompson says: "I feel truly blessed to be given this opportunity, it’s something I have dreamed about since competing at my first land speed racing event in Bonneville. Since the team is based in my home state of Washington, I feel like I’m going back to where it all started."

Thompson grew up in Tacoma, Wash., and now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. She’s set to pilot the North American Eagle and pursue another prestigious BUB record.

Ed Shadle (NAE Driver/Project Manager) says: "We’re expecting Valerie to set a new record as the world’s fastest female racer when she eclipses Kitty O’Neal’s 1972 record of 512 mph."

Test runs begin this summer, and Thompson and the NAE is expected to be a powerful force. The NAE is a 50,000 horsepower converted F-104 Lockheed Star Fighter jet, once flown by the most famous test pilots of the 50’s and 60’s.

This jet-powered car is designed to travel over 800 mph. Thompson is a Team Owner/Pro Motorcycle driver who has competed in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), drag racing’s largest and most elite series.

Ed Shadle says: "Valerie has demonstrated her skill as a land-speed racer by setting records at the Bonneville Salt Flats and campaigned her own Pro Stock motorcycle in NHRA events." Thompson replaces motorcycle racer Leslie Porterfield who stepped down due to health issues.

The NAE team also strives to eventually beat the world land speed record, which the U.K. has held for 15 years, after successfully running a jet-powered car at 763 mph. The NAE team, which includes American and Canadian engineers and former military personnel, says it’s time to bring the record back to North America.


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