South West Wales

Electric car Bluebird's record bid at Pendine in Wales

The grandson of a famous speed enthusiast is attempting to break the UK land speed record for electric cars on a Carmarthenshire beach.

Don Wales, whose late grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell and uncle Donald Campbell both hold world speed records, will try to break the 137mph barrier at Pendine Sands.

He will compete against his son Joe in the speed bid this weekend.

The team hopes to bid for the world speed record in 2013.

The vehicle is being tested at at Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, on Thursday afternoon.

Sir Malcolm Campbell himself set a record in a combustion engine on the same beach, Pendine Sands, with a speed of 146mph in 1924.

His son and Mr Wales' uncle, Donald Campbell, took the water speed record to 152 mph in 1950, but died in a further attempt in 1967.

Super-fast car

Mr Wales, 50, said: "Ten years ago we set a UK record of 137mph at Pendine Sands and we are going back there this weekend to hopefully increase that speed to somewhere around 150mph or 160mph.

"This really is the start of a two or three-year campaign with a target of 500 mph."

The Bluebird team wants to use this weekend's trials to test the super-fast car's technology and then to build a new electric vehicle for the future world record attempt.

Image caption Handout technical image explaining how the electric car operates

They are hoping to hit 500mph and pass the 307mph record set by the American Buckeye Bullet 2.5 team last year.

This would also beat the wheel-driven record, which stands from 2001 at 458mph.

Joe Wales, 19, will also drive Bluebird Electric to attempt the quarter-mile and 500-metre UK speed records.

He said he was looking forward to the weekend and maybe beating his father.

"We'll see how it goes. I might try and go for the outright speed and I'll have a crack at it," he said.

"I am very proud to be representing my family and their heritage. Hopefully, this is the start of a world record car."

Final checks

Test driver and technical director Tim Allen took the Bluebird on to the runway at BAE Systems' airfield at Filton, Bristol, to carry out final checks ahead of this weekend.

"It has all been about testing the machine for the first time - it has been a shake-down test," said Mr Wales.

"The team has been working really hard and the guys at Bristol University and in Wales have worked a lot of hours to get this car working.

"Tim, our test driver and technical director, has been in the car and he's had a good spin so far."

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