We’ve all dreamt at one point or another of having the ability to create a vast concrete oasis. It’d be perfect for high-speed test runs, autocross events, and whatever automotive tomfoolery our prepubescent brains could conjure. For Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, such a haven isn’t a dream, it’s a reality, and it gets used. The company has tested several high-performance vehicles at its three-mile-long runway such as a modified Nissan GT-R, a stock Ford GT, a Chevy Corvette Grand Sport, a McLaren Senna, and much more. Now, there’s a video of the 2008 Ferrari 599 GTB breaking the 200-mile-per-hour (321-kilometer-per-hour) barrier.
Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds breaks the runway down into seven sections ranging from a half-mile to 2.7 miles in length. For the Ferrari, Johnny Bohmer tested the high-powered Italian supercar on its 2.7-mile track, attempting to see if it could crack 200 mph, which it did. According to the company, the professional driver behind the wheel achieved a top speed of 202.151 mph (325.330 kph), which is quite impressive for the 11-year-old supercar.
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For those who forgot, the 2008 Ferrari 599 GTB packs a 6.2-liter V12 engine capable of producing 620 horsepower (462 kilowatts) and 448 pound-feet (607 Newton-meters) of torque, which route to the rear wheels.
While the GTB’s performance is exciting to watch, the runway itself is also quite remarkable. In addition to its 3-mile length, it also features 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) of runoff at both ends. The track is wide, too, measuring 100 yards (91.44 meters) across plus an additional 50 feet (15.24 meters) of a traffic lane on each side. That’s a monstrous amount of concrete and should give even the most eager automotive enthusiasts plenty of room for fun with few dangers inglurk in the dirt.
Ferrari 599 GTB Goes 200+MPH
The Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds (JBPG) runway, located in Merritt Island FL. is not only the widest and flattest runway in the world but also close to the longest. For over 10 years, Johnny Bohmer has been performing Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing for many manufacturers and thousands of vehicles here. The all concrete runway is 3 miles long with an additional 1000 ft. asphalt runoff on each end. The runway is also 100 yds. wide with an additional 50ft wide traffic lane on each side and has an elevation variance of only 1⁄4 in. from north to south over the 3 miles making this one of the flattest, large surface concrete platforms in the world. You hardly notice the 24 in. crown in the center of the runway due to the immense width of the surface. In todays’ time, the availability of concrete would make this runway impossible to build. The traction is also substantially better here than any street surface; not as good as a drag strip, but much better than the street. Johnny Bohmer has developed a program to debunk myths and fact check the manufacturer’s claims of vehicles performance. While testing the vehicles, Johnny’s team will data log each vehicle and record the findings. These have been useful to many manufacturers because of the vehicles ability to drive at speed for 2.5 miles while still have a safe, shut down area. Performance videos will be posted to the public on the recently started, Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds YouTube channel.
The vehicles being tested are timed and speed checked with Garmin and GoPro interior monitoring systems. External timing and speed are performed by the International Mile Racing Association (IMRA) who is a sanctioning body accepted by numerous auto groups and the Guinness Book of World Records. Johnny and his team will routinely test 1⁄2 mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile, 2 mile, 2.3 mile, 2.5 mile and 2.7 mile distances. Manufacturers come from all over the world to test many types of vehicles at JBPG including sports cars, race cars, tractor trailers, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, fire safety, law enforcement and the list goes on.
On May 4, 2019, Johnny Bohmer had a small group of vehicles testing at JBPG; ranging from the McLaren Senna and McLaren 720S to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. The weather conditions that day are listed below.
- Temp: 26C/78F
- Dew Point: 22C/72F
- Humidity: 79%
- Wind: 08 kt / 09 mph
- Direction: SE
- Density Alt: +1548
- Barometric Pressure: 30.00
- Surface Temp: 27.2C/81F
- Temp: 31C/88F
- Dew Point: 23C/73F Humidity: 62%
- Wind: 08 kt / 09 mph
- Direction: SE
- Density Alt: +2184
- Barometric Pressure: 29.95
- Surface Temp: 35C/95F
We tested a stock, 2008 Ferrari 599 GTB over 2.7 miles and were eager to see the results. The professional driver performed the test and was able to achieve a surprising, 202.151 MPH (325.330 KPH) speed.
One of the main functions of the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds is to safely determine all aspects of a vehicle’s performance capabilities while determining the accuracy of the manufacturer’s claims. Last but not least, please subscribe to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds YouTube channel as we continue to perform more testing with some of your favorite vehicles.