Motorsport

Bloodhound speed record breaks the bank

Bad news. The company behind Project Bloodhound has run out of money. In a statement released this morning, Bloodhound Programme Ltd said it was entering administration.

The funds needed to progress from here, while a long way from insignificant, are a drop in the ocean of those needed to run an F1 team. Bloodhound believes that taking the Land Speed Record beyond 1288kph (it’s currently held by Thrust SSC at 1228kph) will cost around £15 million (R283m), while £25 million (R472m) would be needed to take the record beyond 1600kph

The British project to break the 1600kph barrier on an 17km long, 17km-wide track in the South African desert began in 2007. With support from partners such as Rolex, Rolls-Royce (the one that builds aeroplane engines) the Ministry of Defence and donations from individual members of the public, last year the possible record-breaker hit 320kph in tests at Newquay Airport in Cornwall. From 100kph onwards, it maintained a more-or-less constant rate of acceleration, adding 50kph every second.

Although the car is fully built, having run at Newquay this time last year, lack of funds mean the project has had to be put on ice until further investment can be found.

It’s not just the car itself that’s ready to roll – much of the groundwork and planning has been carried out too. At Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape area of South Africa, an 18km long by 1500m wide course has been prepared and communications links arranged.

So let’s hope this isn’t the end of a project that has done so much to inspire children and promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers both in the UK and abroad. So if you’re a serial hypercar buyer and want to invest your money in something truly, madly, deeply fast, get in touch with FRP Advisory.

Joint administrator Andrew Sheridan said: “Entering into administration provides some breathing space to identify an investor who will bring the guaranteed funding, impetus and expertise required to drive the project forward.

“We are already in discussion with a number of potential investors and would encourage any other interested party to contact us without delay.” As would TG, providing you have R400 million or so buried down the back of the sofa.

Mark Chapman is the project’s chief engineer. He says that with “the right support” (read lots of money), his team could be chasing the record in less than a year’s time. So what are you waiting for? Get your chequebooks out. Your country needs you.

Source: bloodhound TG

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