Racer takes aim at 1,600kph record

There is no thrill in driving the world’s most powerful racing car, the man who designed it has said.

Project director Richard Noble who led the team that designed the Bloodhound, the 1,600kph supersonic racer, said that driving the race car is not the exhilarating rush people might expect.

“Driving a car like that is effectively an everyday experience,” he said.

“It’s all about complete and utter accuracy and complete focus, and if you are getting some sort of buzz or excitement out of it then you are the wrong man.

“It’s a very cold-blooded operation.”

More than 8,000 people are expected to see the 1,600kph supersonic racer which is on display until tomorrow at Canary Wharf, London.

It is hoped that the £10m UK-built car will shatter the world land speed record, which currently stands at 1,228kph, when it is tested at full speed.

The Bloodhound will undergo 320kph trials next year at Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall before embarking on a series of high-speed runs in a desert venue in South Africa. At full speed the car will cover 1km in just 2.3 seconds.

Andy Green, 52, is the current record holder, having achieved the feat in Thrust SSC at Black Rock Desert in Nevada in 1997, and will be driving the Bloodhound.

Noble, also the driver of Thrust 2, which broke the land speed record in 1983, said: “Way back in 1997, we broke the sound barrier with Thrust SSC car driven by Andy Green.

"A terrific achievement and as far as the team were concerned we were absolutely exhausted, we all swore we would never ever do this again.

“Of course here we are.

“The public love it, 29,000 people have put their names on the tail of the car. There’s huge public following and huge public interest.”

The supersonic car, assembled at Avonmouth, near Bristol, is the result of eight years of research, design and manufacturing involving more than 350 companies and universities.

It has three power plants, a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet from a Eurofighter Typhoon, a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets, and a Jaguar V8 engine that drives the rocket oxidiser pump. Between them they generate 135,000 thrust horsepower, equivalent to 180 F1 cars.

The pencil-shaped car will be 13.4m long, 183cm in diameter, and will weigh 7.5 tonnes.

The team are hoping to race in 2016.


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