Friday, 8 Dec 2023

‘I run world’s fastest car – but it costs £12m and there’s no one to drive it’

Since the 19th century, the speed at which humanity can travel across the ground has skyrocketed.

From the days of horse and cart to the steam engine and then the motor car, people can travel extraordinary distances extraordinarily quickly.

This desire to travel fast reached its peak during the 20th century when countries competed to build the fastest car in the world, even breaking the sound barrier in 1997.

Fast forward to 2023 and despite the fact the world is now trying to go green, there is one group of people still trying to go fast whilst still being kind to the environment. spoke to the team leader of Bloodhound SSC Stuart Edmondson to find out where the project is going and who will drive the car now Andy Green has hung up his overalls.

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To go racing again and break the land speed record would likely cost a whopping £12million.

While many people think Bloodhound is coming back from the dead, Mr Edmondson was keen to point out that it’s not a revival, but something completely different.

He explained: “I’ve been looking for funding ever since post-Covid, so we came back from South Africa and Covid hit and things got tough then. When I took over in 2021, I went out discreetly looking for funding so that’s been my focus over a couple of years.

“The project hasn’t been dead, the technical side has been paused but the search for funding continued. What’s happened is I have gone public on looking for a driver and associated funding.

“It is a public push to find a new driver that will hopefully also bring in the required funding.”

Mr Edmondson explained that while they are looking for a new driver, Andy Green has not left the project and is staying on to advise the team and the new driver.

He said: “Andy is more than a driver to the team, he obviously brought to Bloodhound from Thrust SSC all his experience.

“He’s been a key player in the development of the car, he has done quite a lot of the testing of the car already. In terms of driver risk he’s de-risked a lot that

“He’ll contribute to the wider development and preparation of the car to go back to the desert so Andy is fully supportive.”

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On what they’re looking for in a new driver. Mr Edmondson said it wasn’t all about money.

He explained: “There is no training course, there is no book to follow. I need someone who is experienced at preparing and training for the environment they operate in.

“If they demonstrate that then they’ve got the potential to be prepared and trained for Bloodhound and then they’ve got the experience of actually operating in that high-speed environment.

“Disciple is absolutely key and if someone stepped forward with a starting point as that then we’ll consider them going forward because Andy is here that’s who I will lean on for the assessment and training.”

Mr Edmondson added: “I know what I need and I’m hoping someone steps forward that I can look at and go ‘Ok, you’ve got the building blocks, let’s have a serious discussion as to moving forward with this’.

Alongside a new driver, Mr Edmondson intends to run Bloodhound without a drop of fossil fuel.

He said: “I then decided over a year ago that Bloodhound needs to be relevant and sponsors are moving away from being associated with something that doesn’t represent the future.

“I declared that I’m looking to not use a drop of fossil fuel, which has excited a lot of sponsors. That has changed the relevance of Bloodhound.”

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