After some seriously promising 600mph+ test runs in South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan, the Bloodhound LSR project is back on the ropes. The Covid-19 pandemic has beset Bloodhound with delays and funding issues, prompting current owner Ian Warhurst to put holding company Grafton LSR up for sale.
Warhurst purchased Bloodhound in 2018 when the land speed record car was mere days away from being hacked up for scrap. He’s now seeking a new owner and an £8 million cash injection, which will be enough to install a Nammo rocket to supplement the vehicle’s Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine and run the vehicle at over 800mph in South Africa.
Time is ticking to save Bloodhound. If this record-breaking run is to be attempted in 2022, work will need “to restart in the next few months,” Grafton LSR says. If the money doesn’t arrive, the streamliner will go into “long-term storage” facing an uncertain future.
Speaking about the latest development, Warhurst said:
“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.”
Bloodhound driver Wing Commander Andy Green meanwhile said:
“In my opinion, the Bloodhound team has built the best Land Speed Record Car ever. It made our 628 mph test run look easy! We’re now raring to get to 800 mph+, to showcase this technical marvel and to invite a global audience to join in an incredibly exciting adventure.
“After the horrible 2020 pandemic year we have all just experienced, the world needs a good news story, and Bloodhound is ready to deliver it”.
All being well, Green will break his own Land Speed Record of 763mph, set using Thrust SSC in 1997. The Bloodhound project still lists its “ultimate target” as 1000mph.