In August 2000, Don Wales and the Bluebird Electric Team set the UK electric land speed record by hitting 139 mph at the Pendine Sands in Wales. However next year, Wales is aiming to not only break the UK record he has held for the last decade, but to shatter it by going faster than his grandfather, Sir Malcolm Campbell, went in 1927. “I have held the record for over 10 years and it’s now looking very vulnerable,” said Mr Wales. “I want to set the UK record well beyond 150 mph, the speed Sir Malcolm clocked in 1925. Ideally I’d like to match his record of 1927 – 175 mph.”
It will be quite a feat if he succeeds at breaking his own record by 40 mph. However Wales is confident, as is his team. Project Director Martin Rees said: “Don’s ambition to be the fastest in the world is a goal we are all working hard to achieve and his recent speed record-breaking exploits, and those we achieved in the electric Bluebird 10 years ago, are testament to his undoubted dedication and commitment to excellence. Taking the car back to Pendine next Spring with improved drive and bodywork will be another chapter in the Campbell and Wales and Pendine story.”
Wales is not only planning on breaking the UK electric speed record, but also the world speed record. Currently the World Electric Land Speed Record stands at 321.834 mph, which was set by an Ohio-based team with the Buckeye Bullet in 2004. However Wales has plans to attempt a new world land speed record of over 500 mph for an electric car in 2012, and is currently evaluating several design options.
“At last the world is making real progress with electric vehicles as a viable alternative to the internal combustion engine. Ten years ago electric vehicles were unheard of in the news and people couldn’t understand the importance of electric car technology. Now there is a whole new generation of electric road cars in production.”
Don Wales, who is also the nephew of Donald Campbell, has also broken several other records, including the world land speed record for a lawnmower – 87.833 mph. He also holds the world record for a steam-powered car (148 mph) as a member of Charles Burnett III’s British Steam car team at Edwards Airforce base, in August 2009. 2011 will also mark the 100th anniversary of the naming of the very first ‘Blue Bird’ and Wales looks set to continue ‘Blue Bird’s’ speed record heritage and adding to the Campbell family’s motor sport achievements.
Given his ability to break speed records, his electric land speed victory seems an inevitability.
Via Green Autoblog