Article source: IMechE

The new owner of the land speed record-chasing Bloodhound car has vowed to “let it off the leash to see just how fast” it can go.

The British car made its first appearance since the project went into administration yesterday, outside new headquarters at SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College (UTC) on the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park.

Now owned by Ian Warhurst, CEO of Grafton LSR, the car has a fresh white and red paint job. The rest of the car is essentially unchanged, although pictures showed missing body panels including wheel fairings.

Current land speed record holder Andy Green, engineering director Mark Chapman and others came with the car, and the project is focused on finishing the build and moving on to high speed testing “as soon as possible”. Before the project went into administration, plans were underway for trials and eventually 1,000mph+ (1,609km/h) runs on the Hakspeenpan in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

“Since buying Bloodhound from the administrators last December, the team and I have been overwhelmed by the passion and enthusiasm the public have shown for the project. Over the last decade, an incredible amount of hard graft has been invested in the project and it would be a tragedy to see it go to waste,” said Warhurst.

“Starting with a clean slate, it’s my ambition to let Bloodhound off the leash to see just how fast this car can go. I’ve been reviewing the project and I’m confident there is a commercial business proposition to support it. I’ll provide robust financing to ensure there is cashflow to hit the high-speed testing deadlines we set ourselves.”

As well as showcasing the best of British engineering and potentially breaking the land speed record for the last ever time, education was always a key aim of the project, which has so far encouraged thousands of children to consider engineering careers.

“It was a very hard fight to create the Bloodhound car, the largest STEM programme in the UK, the public engagement programme and the 1,000 man year desert preparation,” said former Bloodhound CEO Richard Noble. “Our weakness had always been finance and now after administration, with Ian Warhurst, the team finally has the financial support it needs to drive forward with confidence and achieve what we set out to do nearly 12 years ago.”

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