Hartlepool Bloodhound pilot’s 1,000mph land speed record bid delayed until 2017

Bloodhound Project driver Andy Green inside the cockpit of the vehicle.
Bloodhound Project driver Andy Green inside the cockpit of the vehicle.

A Hartlepool-born man will have to wait until next year for his bid to break the world speed record.

Andy Green, who grew up in the town, is the pilot in the Bloodhound land speed racing car which is aiming to become the world’s first to reach 1,000mph.

The Bloodhound car. Photograph courtesy of Stefan Marjoram

The Bloodhound car. Photograph courtesy of Stefan Marjoram

But the schedule for the record bid has been changed. UK runway trials are now being planned for later this year.

Andy already holds the record, having hit 763mph in the Thrust supersonic car at Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA, in 1997. The first attempt at a new record, reaching 800mph, is now projected to take place next year.

Although interest in the project has never been greater, a number of major funding deals are still in negotiation.

Project Director Richard Noble said: “The most difficult part is behind us: we have designed and built the world’s ultimate racing car and prepared the best land speed racing track in history. We’ve also created a successful inspiration programme operating in 33 countries around the world.

The most difficult part is behind us: we have designed and built the world’s ultimate racing car and prepared the best land speed racing track in history. We’ve also created a successful inspiration programme operating in 33 countries around the world

Richard Noble

“What we need now are the funds to run the car and money is just a function of perseverance and timing.”

He said that doing something unique, on a global scale, with such high technology, was “never easy.” But he added: “Most importantly, the Project is achieving its primary goal even without the car running: we’re turning kids on to science and engineering.”

Bloodhound uses jet and rockets, making it nine times more powerful than nine Formula 1 cars. Andy, who went to High Tunstall School in the 1970s and lived in Stanhope Avenue, designed the Bloodhound’s sophisticated dashboard.

One of the main aims of the project has also been to inspire the country’s next generation of engineers.

The Bloodhound car. Photograph courtesy of Stefan Marjoram

The Bloodhound car. Photograph courtesy of Stefan Marjoram

Over 100,000 school children have learned about Bloodhound in lessons and attending special events, with many more involved internationally including almost 1,200 schools registered on the education programme in South Africa.

Mr Noble said: “Setting some land speed records will amplify all this, of course, and get the world watching but we should not forget that this is what success really looks like.”