In 2019, the Bloodhound team deployed out to South Africa to conduct high speed testing of the most advanced straight-line racing car in history. The car smashed the test programme target of 500 mph, hitting a peak speed of 628 mph (1011 km/h), validating the computer modelling used in designing the car and proving that Bloodhound has real record-breaking capability.
The team now needs to install the Nammo monopropellant rocket, giving the car a top speed of over 800 mph (1287 km/h). Once again, the car will then run on its specially prepared 12- mile (19.2 km) long dry lake bed race track at Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Completing the rocket installation and taking the car to South Africa to exceed 800 mph will cost £8 million, based on the costs of the test programme to date. With a global following and a high level of media coverage, including the highly successful Channel 4 documentary ‘Building the World’s Fastest Car’ which aired late last year, the project’s fundraising potential is significant as the record attempt gets closer.
The project is expected to recoup increasingly large amounts through sponsorship and rights sales as the programme develops, making this a unique and exciting investment. Bloodhound LSR’s current owner and Chief Executive, Ian Warhurst, is now stepping back from leading the project and putting the vehicle up for sale.
After buying the car at the end of 2018, Ian has more than achieved his original objectives of rescuing Bloodhound from the scrap heap and ensuring the team deployed to South Africa in 2019 to complete the high speed test programme. However, the current economic climate brought on by the global pandemic has severely impacted the search for fundraising and the project timeline.
As a result, Ian is inviting a new owner to take over Grafton LSR Ltd, the holding company which owns the Bloodhound LSR project. The new owner will inherit a proven high-speed car with a demonstrated potential for an 800+ mph world land speed record.
Ian said: “It has been a privilege to lead this team of world-class engineers over the past two years. I was spellbound – along with a huge audience around the world – as we tested the car up to 600+ mph in South Africa.”
He continued: “When I committed to take the car high speed testing in 2019, I allocated enough funding to achieve this goal on the basis that alternative funding would then allow us to continue to the record attempts. Along with many other things, the global pandemic wrecked this opportunity in 2020 which has left the project unfunded and delayed by a further 12 months. At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the programme or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project. This gives someone with the right passion and available funding to effectively swoop in at the last minute and take the prize. I will, of course, be cheering from the side-lines when Bloodhound smashes through 800 mph.”