- Aug 16, 2011
Bluebird electric land speed record attempt ends in disaster
An attempt to smash the UK's electric vehicle land speed record on Saturday reportedly ended in disaster as the Bluebird was badly damaged following an impact with a pothole. Foul weather limited visibility and, according to reports, a pothole, led to the near-catastrophic incident.
Piloted by Joseph Wales, the electric Bluebird set out to break the UK's existing 137-miles-per-hour electric vehicle speed record set back in 2000, but Mother Nature put Wales' skills to the test. The first leg of the Bluebird's trial run at Pendine Sands in Wales went as planned, but the return leg didn't.
Limited visibility and slippery conditions caused the Bluebird to slide sidewards at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The electric vehicle dipped and then bounced after hitting a pothole in the sand. This up-and-down motion damaged the prototype's bodywork, steering components and suspension and ended any chance of Wales completing a run.
Of the failed attempt, Don Wales, father of driver Joseph Wales, explained, "When you can't see the ground in front of you for 60 meters or 70 meters you're in trouble before you've seen it." However, Don Wales remains an optimistic man, stating "This really is the start of a two or three-year campaign with a target of 500 mph." Surely Wales realizes that 500 mph is more than a stone's throw away from 137, right?