Bloodhound Land Speed Record’s attempt on cracking the land speed record for a steerable car looked to be all set after the team reached 628 mph during a test run last November. The record stands at 763 mph and Bloodhound LSR wants to not only beat the record, but go on to cross the 1,000-mph threshold.
Unfortunately, Bloodhound LSR last week announced that the future of the project was in jeopardy as 8 million British pounds (approximately $10.5 million) would need to be raised by the end of March to ensure the team can meet its deadlines for a planned attempt on the record in 2021 at the Hakskeenpan in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert.
The funds are required to pay aerospace and motorsport experts involved in the project and complete development of the team’s 44.3-foot streamliner to make it go faster. Areas that still need work include upgrades to the fuel system, brakes and aerodynamics. The team also needs to install a new electric oxidiser pump.
Bloodhound LSR’s streamliner combines a jet engine and a custom rocket engine. A Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine normally found in the Eurofighter Typhoon was used to reach the 628 mph of last November’s test. To go faster, a cluster of bespoke hybrid rockets developed by defense firm Nammo need to be employed. The combined output will then be 135,000 horsepower.
“The clock is ticking to raise the necessary investment to re-group the team and crack on with the rocket program and other car upgrades in time to hit our 2021 deadlines,” said Ian Warhurst, Bloodhound LSR CEO. “The project remains dormant while we try to secure the funding but at a cost of tens of thousands per month of overheads, and the threat that we miss the weather window next year, we cannot remain dormant for long.”
This is actually the second time that the team has hit the financial skids. Bloodhound LSR first ran into trouble in 2018 but was thrown a lifeline by Warhurst, a mechanical engineer and manager of several businesses in the automotive engineering sector. He and his team are also running Bloodhound LSR as a business, selling sponsorship in the same way that motorsport teams are often funded.