SA to host 1600km/h record attempt
The Bloodhound Super Sonic Car will attempt to smash the world land speed record by racing at 1600km/h across the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape in 2011.
Andy Green, who holds the world land speed record of 1227.93 km/h (763mph), will try smash his own record by topping 1600km/h on South Africa’s flat, dry Hakskeen Pan.
Speaking to Times LIVE from England this morning, Jules Tipler of the Bloodhound team said the land speed record is calculated as the average speed of the car over two runs, completed within the space of an hour.
He said the team had received fantastic support from the Northern Cape government, which has undertaken to prepare Hakskeen Pan for the world land speed record runs as part of the Northern Cape’s development as a world-class adventure sports location.
Tipler said the Bloodhound team would perform test runs at an airfield in the UK before heading to South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan in mid-2011, when the pan will be in its driest condition.
The pan in South Africa’s barren Northern Cape meets the team’s requirements. The location had to be at least 16km long, have 1.6km of clear run-off at each end, be dead flat and firm enough to support a 6.5-ton car moving at incredible speed.
The search began with a computer program that used space shuttle radar survey data and satellite imagery to identify potential locations. It produced several thousand possibilities, which were then whittled down using Google Earth, according to a statement from the Bloodhound team.
A detailed survey of the Hakskeen Pan, 200km north of Upington, found it offered a 19km track across a perfectly flat dried-up lake bed relatively free of debris and stones crossed by a dirt track that will need to be removed before the record attempt.