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Roland Percey, art professor at PCC, does more than just grade papers during the weekend. He aspires to break the world land speed record.The record he is attempting to break is the C Gas Modified Sports land speed record.

The vehicle in which Percey will try to break the record was hand built by himself and professional contractors.

The body, that of a C5 Corvette, sits on a hand built-chassis and is powered by an engine designed for drag racing.
The engine has 357 cubic inches of displacement and puts out 1,000 horse-power. The engine was originally used in, the now extinct, class name Pro Stock Truck of the National Hot Rod Association, NHRA.

“These motors couldn’t be driven on the streets, they don’t even idle. You fire them up and go,” Percey said

This project, which is self-financed, began around four years ago.

“I ran into some old racing buddies.we used to race when we were teenagers and through our mid-twenties.” Recalled Percey. “We started kicking around the idea to build a race car. When you’re a kid its hard to finance this kind of a project. Today we have a little bit of money to finance it without sponsors,” he added

Runs take place in two courses: El Mirage in the Mojave Desert and Bonneville Salt Flats, which is just outside Wendover, Nev. Each course has its own record for the C Gas Modified class.

The El Mirage record stands at 213 mph. The record at Bonnevile is a blazing 241 mph. The engine is capable of reaching 10,200 rpm. During the 198.5 mph run the engine reached only 7,600 rpm.

During that run, the engine did not reach its potential.

“Everything was in place to take the record, however we damaged the engine on the last run,” Percey said.

“We are going to El Mirage Sunday [Sept. 17] with a back-up motor to see if we can get close to that record. If the car is running well we are going back to Bonneville on Oct. 3.

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