Stalled land speed record bid needs R460m jumpstart

2016-02-08 13:30
The Bloodhound Supersonic car which will attempt the land speed world record attempt at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape. (Supplied, The Bloodhound Project)

The Bloodhound Supersonic car which will attempt the land speed world record attempt at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape. (Supplied, The Bloodhound Project)

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Hakskeenpan - The land speed record attempt by the Bloodhound Supersonic car at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape will now only take place in 2017, due to financial problems.

"The revised dates reflect the fact that, although interest in and support for the project have never been greater, a number of major funding deals are still in negotiation," said project director Richard Noble.

The team needs £20 million (about R460 million) to proceed with the attempt at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape's Kalahari. The land speed record attempt was supposed to be done this year.

"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. What we need now are the funds to run the car and money. [The rest] is just a function of perseverance and timing.

"Doing something truly unique, on a global scale, with such high technology, is never easy – ask Richard Branson or Elon Musk. But that makes the story we're sharing with millions of supporters all the more interesting," Noble said.

The Bloodhound will attempt a speed of 1 600km/h. The Bloodhound SSC project was started in 2008 during the last global depression.

"People had other things on their minds, as you can imagine," Dave Rowley, the Bloodhound's SA Education director said.

"So while we've had some sponsors, we need a lot more money," Rowley said.

Apart from the construction of the car and education and awareness, it'll be the final part of the land speed record attempt that will require lots of money. The team have already spent about £20m.

"The big expense is bringing a team of people from the UK - technicians and engineers who will support the car for three months at Hakskeenpan," Rowley said.

Read more on:    kimberley

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