Seven-time land speed record holder Valerie Thompson will return to the El Mirage Dry Lake Bed May 16-17 for Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) land speed racing event.Thompson hopes of breaking the land speed record in the APS-G class, and become the first female motorcyclist to earn a spot in the famed, “El Mirage 200 MPH Club.”
The club is a prestigious listing of racers who have achieved two major accomplishments: reach or exceed 200 MPH and break the existing record during the same run.“America’s Queen of Speed” reached 199.903 mph at El Mirage on her BMW S 1000 RR motorcycle in 2014, against a record of 214.360 set in 2011. Considering Thompson has achieved 200 MPH club membership at four other land speed racing events and set a personal best speed of 217.7 MPH at the Texas Mile in 2014, she’s poised to break the record at El Mirage to become the first female motorcyclist in the famous record list.“This will be my third time racing at the famous dry lake bed. Setting a new record and joining the El Mirage 200 MPH Club has been one of my goals since I started land speed racing,” says Thompson. “It’s a unique club since you have to break an existing record and exceed 200 mph during the same run, which makes it even tougher to gain membership.”Inspiring young women to achieve their potential has become a personal effort of Thompson’s, who regularly donates time to charitable organizations that help children overcome personal challenges. She earned the “American Women Riders Community Hero Award” in 2011 for her support efforts with HopeKids.org.“Inspiring kids to achieve their goals and dreams drives me to do the same at every race I compete in,” Thompson says about the young children she’s worked with. “I always tell them courage is the best protection they can have.”Having recently added Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants as a major sponsor of her BMW racing team, Thompson has everything in place to become the first female motorcyclist in the El Mirage 200 MPH Club.For additional information, visit SCTA.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.