Bloodhound rocket car rises from ashes for 1,000mph land speed record attempt

New owner wants high-speed testing to begin "as soon as possible"

THE BLOODHOUND land speed record car has been given a new lease of life and is back on track to become the second car in history to break the sound barrier.

Bloodhound LSR, as it is now known, has risen phoenix-like from the ashes of the Bloodhound SSC project after being saved from administration last year. The car is now undergoing the final stages of development, in preparation for high-speed testing runs at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa.

A schedule for the shakedown sessions hasn’t been disclosed, though it has been confirmed the car will initially only be propelled by its Eurofighter-derived jet engine. While the rockets needed for supersonic speeds won’t be installed until after the initial tests, it’s expected the jet engine will be enough to get Bloodhound up to and beyond 400mph. The target with the rocket engine equipped is a wild 1,000mph.

Bloodhound may now have a new owner in Grafton LSR, and a new home at the SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College’s UK Land Speed Record Centre, but the team running it remains mostly the same, including RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, who has been retained for driving duties.

However, co-founder Richard Noble, who was holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997, and was project director of ThrustSSC, which set the current land speed record of 763mph in 1997, has been replaced as CEO by new owner Ian Warhurst.

Support from sponsors will still be needed for the land speed record attempts, according to Warhurst, though the businessman said he will provide the “robust financing” needed to get Bloodhound ready for the tests in South Africa.

According to Bloodhound LSR’s commercial director Ewen Honeyman, the team is already in discussions with potential partners, and the red-and-white livery has been designed to offer flexibility should a title sponsor be found.

Just like its predecessor, Bloodhound LSR isn’t only targeting a new land speed record. It also wants the car to inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and technicians, and it’s hoped basing the project at a technical college will build on the work already done by Bloodhound SSC and the independently-run Bloodhound Education charity.

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