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Posted by : Ray Wakefield - Date: 5 April 2005 at 09:15

The British Steam Car Challenge was formed in 1999 with the aim of setting a new World Land Speed Record for Steam Powered vehicles. They have spent the last three years designing and building their contender Inspiration, a streamlined single seater powered by a small steam turbine, with which they hope to raise the record for this class of vehicle to above 300 kph.

The existing record of 127.6 mph (205.35 kph) was set by Fred Marriot in 1906 in the Stanley steamer Rocket, and has not been officially beaten in almost a century.

The team, which includes among others a number of members of Richard Noble's successful Thrust SSC team, plans to go for the British record at Bruntingthorpe testing grounds in June/July this year prior to attempting the world record on Verneuk pan in Mid August.

The car will be driven by Charles Burnett, who has captured a variety of World Records on water, including the offshore Water Speed Record of 137 mph (220kph).

A second driver will be Annette Getty, who is training hard in more conventional motor sport events for this attempt, which she hopes will result in her setting a new International Record for women.

The car is unique in many ways, not least in the fact that it houses four small high pressure boilers in which Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is burned to raise the steam which powers a 13 diameter two-stage turbine, mounted Formula One fashion, behind the driver. Although the exhaust steam will not provide any thrust this, together with the burner exhaust, will be vented to the rear of the car where it will create a mass flow rate such that the car will effectively have no drag associated with its wake.

To learn more about the British Steam Car Challenge, click on the button on our links page.


Posted by : Ray Wakefield - Date: 5 April 2005 at 09:15

A Cape Town man, Hein Wagner, hopes to become the world's fastest non-sighted driver later this year.

Hein, who has been blind from birth, has an impressive list of achievements to his credit, having competed in a number of marathons, and climbed the ten highest mountains in the Western Cape .

He has his Western Province Colours for Athletics, and was a member of the South African Blind cricket team in the year that they won the World Cup. To cap all this, he has competed in the Cape to Rio yacht race, so is no stranger to competitive events at a very high level.

He plans to 'warm up' for this attempt by competing in a little mild Drag Racing!

Speedrecordsa is proud to be able to assist this man's attempt, and this site together with Hein's own, www.visiontree.co.za will form the official web-based communication medium.

The record to beat currently stands at 164.87 mph (265.33kph) set by Billy Baxter on a motorcycle, but Mike Newman, with his stepfather as navigator, has tried for 200 mph at El Mirage last year, and will no doubt try again.

Hein, through his attempt, is hoping to raise funds for the 'Reach for a Dream' foundation, as well as The South African Council for the Blind.

Plans for this attempt are very much in the formative stages at present. Not least of the requirements is a suitable car. Although we have some ideas on this, and overtures are currently being made in certain quarters, Speedrecord S A would be pleased to hear from anyone who could provide a suitable vehicle - either a single or two seater - that could safely, genuinely, and repeatedly attain 300 kph, and preferably exceed 320 kph, and who would like to be associated with this project.

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