Bloodhound LSR achieves new top speed in South Africa trials with former Hartlepool man behind the wheel

A rocket car driven by a former Hartlepool man aiming to set a new world record has raced to its fastest speed yet.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 10:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 12:19 pm

The Bloodhound LSR (land speed record) piloted by Andy Green passed the major milestone during trials in the South Africa desert as the car hit 334mph (537km/h).

Powered by a Eurofighter Typhoon EJ200 jet engine, the car reached the speed in just over 13 seconds.

Its previous fastest speed was 200mph which it achieved at Cornwall Airport in Newquay in 2017.

Pilot Andy Green stands beside the Bloodhound supersonic racing car before its first public run at Cornwall Airport, near Newquay. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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Andy, who grew up in Hartlepool in the 1970s attending High Tunstall school, is the current World Land Speed Record holder at 763mph which he achieved in America in 1997.

He said: “We’ve had two very successful runs today, with the second run reaching a max speed of 334mph – going from 50mph to 300mph in 13 seconds.

“There was strong cross wind gusting at over 15mph and we’ve established that this is pretty much the limit for running in the car.

“We’re happy because this was a successful test, now we’re ready to progress on to higher speeds.”

The Bloodhound reached its fastest speed yet on a specially built track in the South African desert.

Three ‘run profiles’ have now been completed on the Hakskeenpan desert racetrack starting at 100mph, building to 200mph before hitting 334mph.

Despite the milestone, the Bloodhound team say it has not all been plain sailing in South Africa.

On trying to start the engine an issue with a fuel sensor calibration was discovered stopping a pump sending fuel to the engine.

And the desert heat and altitude proved too much at first for proved too much for a piece of ground support equipment which acts as a starter motor for the main engine.

Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst said: “I’ve been impressed with the tenacity of the team to work through a challenging first week of testing in the Kalahari Desert.

“With all those issues resolved it’s exciting to be moving into the high speed phase of the testing and get a max reheat run under our belts.

“Witnessing Bloodhound blasting from 50mph to 300mph in 13 seconds and on to 334mph was jaw dropping.

“British engineering at its finest.”

Over the next four weeks, Bloodhound will try to reach 500mph during further test runs.