200 MPH Club (2017) Movie Script

hope you have an exceptional experience.
People always ask,
"What does it feel like
"to go 260 mph?"
Well, on these salt flats,
there's no point of reference
in your peripheral vision.
You know what it's like
driving down the freeway
when there's phone poles,
or a guard rail or trees
and they're whizzing by,
you don't have that here.
You really only know intellectually,
that you're going that fast.
And you've got just the
buzz inside the car,
and the heat, and the noise,
and you know what's going on.
You know you're going more than 200 mph.
But it doesn't feel like that.
It's sort of like driving on the moon.
If I get the 200 mph club
done here in Australia,
I will have five entries
in 200 mph clubs.
There aren't a whole lot of
people who have done that.
It's less than ten, it
might be less than five.
And if Keith gets it done down here
then he will be in seven 200 mph clubs,
and I don't think any
body else has done that.
So a right-hand turn, left-hand lane.
Meaning over there, by that...
You're good.
We were looking the wrong way again.
Looking the wrong way, yeah.
Course we have to look over there too.
I want to say that's
where I was looking.
That's not where I was looking.
I was looking right down this lane.
Yeah, I'm looking down there.
Am I good over there?
You are.
Stay in your lane.
All right now we're good, we're golden.
Now we're just straight.
We're on A1 again so
we'll just stay on here
until our feet get tired.
One of the things David and
I have done for each other
is we've kind of balanced
each other's highs and lows.
David is really really good
at planning and thoughts,
he loves going through the record book
and trying to figure
out where our skills
meet the record book.
I bring to the table the
ability to get it done.
To take all of that
thoughts and theories
and put it all together.
Between the two of us, we've
been fairly successful.
But more importantly
than being successful,
we've helped each other
both accomplish our goals.
I really wanted to come here
because I felt I had
unfinished business.
The first time, was I think 2008,
we shipped our Bonneville
race car here to try to run it
at the salt flats in Australia.
And when we got here, the salt was wet,
and they wouldn't let us run,
so we packed it up and shipped it home.
We're going to Lake Gairdner,
which is the fourth biggest
salt flats in Australia.
And it's way bigger than Bonneville,
but it's just like the
Bonneville Salt Flats
in the United States, which is normally
where I like to do my land speed racing.
There's some stress racing here,
because it's so far out
in the middle of nowhere.
And let's be honest, when
you're going as quick as
maybe 240 mph in these
cars, things can go wrong,
and you can get hurt pretty badly.
And we're a long way from medical care.
There's only a few
dry lakes in the world
that actually have the
ability to be raced on.
We're out here in the middle...
We're 300 miles into the
Outback in Australia.
We are truly desolate.
Australians live around
the outside of Australia.
Nobody lives in the middle of it.
We, right now, are in the middle of it.
We're not going to win anything here,
we're not going to make any
money, there is no prize money.
When we're all said and done,
we're going to get a freaking hat.
It's the most important
thing in the world to me.
I've been chasing this hat for what?
This is my fourth time here.
I've been chasing these
hats for years and years,
I've got all these hats
wrapped up on my counter,
and I don't even wear hats.
I'm looking forward to feeling
the salt underneath us.
Feels like Bonneville right now.
It's always kind of a
cool feeling isn't it?
The first time you roll in
and everything's just perfectly smooth.
I have always kind of had a fascination
with land speed racing.
Many years ago a friend of
mine was hurt very badly
and it made me realize I could either
continue this fascination,
or I could actually
do something about it.
So I got up off the couch
and bought a race car,
took it home, started racing it.
It's literally that simple.
I don't know how to put that any better.
Who am I?
I'm just a guy that likes cars.
I was the editor of Hot Rod Magazine
for more than 12 years.
And I look at land speed
racing as the very very origins
of everything that hot rodding is.
All the way back into the early 30s,
when hot rodders down in central LA,
were first knocking the
fenders and running boards
off of their Model As and Model Ts,
and driving them on Podunk little roads
all the way up to the Dry
Lakes in southern California.
I almost feel like I
owe it to the heritage
of what they started for us
and this entire industry,
to keep this going, to
keep writing about it,
to keep racing it,
and feeling like I'm kind
of brethren with them,
by actually doing it.
We made it.
The records that we're running
on here are all open records
meaning that any pass that
we make in excess of 200 mph
will be a record and will get
us in the 200 mph club here.
This is the one
opportunity in amateur racing
where a guy from the middle of nowhere
can literally come up
with a national record,
and sometimes an international record.
This is an amateur event.
It's about the guy getting off
the couch and going racing.
It's about the little guy.
I'm from Brisbane, Queensland,
just north of the Gold Coast.
My name is Fleabag.
Some people, it's all about
going fast, I really don't care.
I just enjoy building the car.
If it broke I had no way
in the world of means
of paying my way out of it
or repairing it or anything.
I just cross my fingers
and hope it all worked out.
The car we're going to drive here
is the 1968 Chevy Camaro.
It's aerodynamically bone stock
but it has a 500 cubic inch engine
and it makes about a
thousand horse power.
It belongs to a guy named Jack Rogers
who Keith and I know from Bonneville.
And he sent three of his cars
down here in this semi truck
which means Keith and I
are probably going to be
checking over the car really well.
Also because I've never
even seen this thing before.
Dude I'll tell you
what, that frickin' hurt.
Do you have ice?
I burned the piss out of myself.
Oh really?
Yeah that just burned
the hell out of me.
Wow, the foam stuck to you?
The foam stuck to me and
then my hand's on fire.
Oh wow.
But just the pain of that,
tells you why to wear
every bit of fire suit you can wear.
Yeah the pain of
this makes you realize
how bad that would be if you
actually burned yourself.
Meanwhile, I'm hungry.
Well, what are we eating?
I dunno.
My hand?
Keith Turk and David
Freiburger are both
giving a lot to the
sport that we all enjoy.
And I knew of the fact
that they came to Australia
a couple of times and were unsuccessful
because of the refrain
of getting on the track.
So I called Keith and said
"Look, we're coming over here
"if you two guys would like to join us,
"we'd be honored to
give you the opportunity
"to do what you tried to
do several years ago."
It was a great opportunity
to give some payback
to these guys that do so much
for the hot rodding sport.
You see so many unique approaches
to the same problem of speed.
It's not a cookie cutter
deal like you see at NASCAR
or some of the other racing
venues that are so professional
and rule-backed.
You get a small set of rules,
and other than that, you're unlimited.
I am Animal.
My title is race director.
I've been doing that
unofficially since 1996.
That means that anything
goes down, I'm the boss.
I have been known to burn a
couple of flags over the years
which I'm not really proud of,
but I've never burned an American flag.
Because I am a patriot of speed.
Over the years, I have
seen from 50CC bikes,
to the world's fastest tractor engine.
If it's here to go
fast, I'm here to watch.
As long as we all do it safely,
and that's the basis of everything.
Do everything safely,
and everybody's happy.
The president of the Dry
Lakes races, Norman Bradshaw,
has told me "No more underpants.
"You are not to wear your
underpants out on the lake
at all!"
I turned around and said why
does he want to see me nude?
No matter how many times you do this,
there's still the
anxiety of sitting there,
hoping that you won't
do something stupid.
Or something that you
should have remembered,
but that you forgot about.
Please God, don't let me screw up.
I don't want to hurt your car,
I don't want to hurt your motor
I just want to be calm,
safe, smooth, and controlled.
Calm, safe, smooth, and controlled.
And just, you know?
The routine that we have
that I don't know if I can
do this racing without, is
the strapping in procedure.
That whole thing.
I would feel uncomfortable
doing that with someone
other than you.
I've only ever done it with you.
You know, there's nothing
quite like that feeling
of knowing you've hammered it.
To me, you pull the chute,
and as soon as you feel it hit...
It's like holy crap.
Yeah I don't think there's
anything that I've done
that you've got this great
thrill of racing down the track
but then when you feel that
chute hit you in the back,
that's sweet.
But to me, actually, the
best moment on the salt,
is when you've pulled
off, you're sitting there
out of the car, no one's around,
your crew hasn't shown up
yet, it's completely quiet,
and you know that you've
just pulled it off.
And it's just you and the salt.
So tomorrow.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow...
That tomorrow, come what may.
The biggest thing
about land speed racing
is that it's all about
personal achievement.
There's no money in it, whatsoever.
It's about setting a personal goal,
and making it happen,
and it's really all about
the respect of your peers,
which is the other racers.
Keith is going to go race the car first.
And he's got to run 200 mph
in the first three miles.
And if he does, I'm going
to hop in and try it myself.
And the thing is, neither
one of us have ever
driven this car before.
David and I have been
kind of chasing two clubs
as a personal goal
for a number of years.
We've known each other
for a couple years more
than we've been racing.
But more importantly, all
Bonneville racing traditionally
has been a team type sport.
There's so many pieces to the puzzle,
and trying to put them all
together for one person
is pretty tough.
All of David's 200 mph
clubs, we've gotten together.
Most of mine we have gotten together.
This isn't about the cars,
this isn't about the mechanics,
this is about David and I
getting in the two club.
Here we go!
You ready for this?
All right, let's do this.
Is the CB turned up?
And he said he was going
to roll through at 205.
237, bam!
Got that done.
We needed that.
How about that, old man?
Two three seven!
Lake Gairnder,
Australia, how about that?
Seven 200 mph clubs.
I'll be damned.
I am thrilled for
Keith, that was awesome.
He was saying the whole time
that he was going to run 205 or 210.
But obviously once you get in the car
and the adrenaline's
up and you feel like
you've got it under control,
he said he was just ignoring the tack
and keeping it down until he
went through the three mile.
ECTA, Mirror Rock,
Bonneville, El Mirage,
Loring Maine, Texas,
Lake Gairdner, Australia.
See the rain over there?
We're thinking a lot about
putting me out there right now.
There's a lot of rain coming in.
The weather out on the salt
flats is so unpredictable
that the rain can come in
and flood the whole place.
If it dumps enough water on the track,
they could cancel this run,
they could even cancel the entire meet.
And I'd go home again with no record.
Straighten these shorts out.
How's it going?
All right, we need
to get him in the car.
Ah, what else can go wrong?
I know it.
This is ridiculous.
Jamming to get up here before
the rain, and what happens?
The rain starts right
as we get to the line.
They might be calling it for the night.
They might be calling it for the week,
depending on how bad it hits.
There's a lot of rain coming in.
It's just kind of getting slick.
So it kind of gets mushy and slidy, so.
It's 4:20 right now,
I suspect we're probably done
for the day.
I think that's probably it.
I doubt we'll get to race.
So yeah, they called
it, done for the day.
The hope is that the
wind will come up tonight
and dry this stuff out, and
some sun in the morning,
and then hopefully we can run
it in some decent conditions.
There's a salt berm down
on the right-hand side.
And if you hit that at
speed, it could be dangerous.
Right, lets go have fun.
So we had a quick
driver's meeting up there.
Obviously the salt completely
dried out last night,
there was a big wind, and arguably,
it's better than it was yesterday
as a result of being wet and
then drying out like that.
And the other good news,
is that because we were
right at the front of
the line last night,
they're going to shove
us up front, right now.
So we should get a
first pass on good salt.
Parachute, parachute, parachute.
Parachute, parachute, parachute.
Fuel, fire, ignition.
Parachute, fuel, fire, ignition.
Parachute, fuel, fire.
Firebottle pins out?
Firebottle pins are out.
Parachute pins out.
One of the things that
Keith always says to me,
because we have a routine
where we strap each other
in the car, and Keith
will always strap me in,
and the last thing that he says before
he slams the door is always
"This run isn't that important."
Meaning that even though
you're about to get
in the 200 mph club, or
even though you're about
to set a record, there's
nothing more important
than keeping yourself safe in the car.
Remember this is all going
to happen pretty fast, so.
Dude, I'm just going
straight and giving best,
you are getting tight.
This is coming tight.
Now I'm going to get on you all right?
Don't we have a few more to go?
Nope, you're it.
All right bud, that's it.
All right.
Are you in?
I'm in.
Pretty tight?
This pass is not that
important, remember that.
Okay, slow and steady.
Arrivederci, David!
Nobody has value unless
they have passion.
This whole thing because
I had dreamed about it
for so long,
and all the passion involved,
the guy that that was
focused on was a guy
named John Becket
who started this little
racing organization.
And in 2005, he tumbled
and he lost his life.
It's a...
We got a CB to listen?
We were going to race
next, that's what was next.
And David was in the car,
and I had to figure out
what to tell him.
Though I had very strong
suspicions that he had died
at that point.
If you think of what
Keith had to go through
at that moment, he's sitting
there really broken up,
having to deal with a lot of emotions
while strapping me into his car,
another one of his good friends,
and having to send him
down the same salt,
that just took the life
of another friend of his.
I think we backed up the
record, we finished our week.
But when I got home, I
wrote this editorial column
about the conversation I
had with Keith about that.
I said "Why do we do this?
"It's not that important.
"Why are we risking our lives on it?"
And he said "Well
because it is important,
"and even if we're
looking at record books,
"and they don't mean anything to the guy
"on the street corner,
but they mean a lot to us,
"that's the point.
"Is that it means a lot to us."
And so I called this editorial column
The Importance of Risk.
What was it, 249?
Holy shit.
You have no idea how relieved I am.
I was one a...
I retired as a helicopter
pilot, in 1996.
And my biggest fear
when I retired was that
I would go to work and teach
kids to fly helicopters,
and one day wake up, be 65 years old,
and never have accomplished
a thing in my life.
And I know this sounds corny,
okay, so this puts me
in seven 200 mph clubs,
and that's really, really great.
But the reality is this puts
David in five 200 mph clubs.
And getting five is a big deal.
It also kind of seals our
history as racers, you know?
It shows our
stick-to-itiveness, you know,
and our tenacity.
I think it's got value.
It's who we are, it's how
we breathe, it's how we eat.
It's what we do.
It's what makes our life have value.
Thank you very much!
All right, now I want to see.
My quarter speed is lame.
The three mile 232...
Is lame.
Four mile 249.5!
Look, come down one more.
Get over it, get over it.
249.5 is not 250, that's the problem.
249 dude, that is a huge number.
All I need was a little bit more stank
and the thing would have been.