Land-speed record trial abandoned

The testing of a UK-built steam car designed to beat a 103-year-old land-speed record has been abandoned because of technical problems.

British Steam Car project manager Matt Candy said they would install modifications before taking part in a private test run in the next two weeks.

The team previously said a major challenge would be to develop a compact boiler that could turn 40 litres of water per minute into superheated steam at 400C and 40 times atmospheric pressure.

The trial at the MoD's Thorney Island facility near Chichester, West Sussex, had been intended to be the last before the car travelled to the US to attempt the record.

This was set at 127mph in 1906 by Fred Marriott driving a Stanley steam car at Daytona Beach in Florida. The British car is aiming for a top speed of 170mph.

It will be driven by Don Wales, nephew of the late Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who between them established more than 20 land and water speed records.

Said Mr Candy: "The car is complicated, and it would be nice to simplify the design, but it is testing, and we are pushing it to its limits."

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