Drayson Racing locks down electric speed records

Back in June, the team at Drayson Racing took its electric Le Mans prototype to the Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England, and set a new land speed record for electric vehicles. The competition-spec EV hit a top speed of 204.185 miles per hour, shattering the previous record that stood at 175 mph since 1974.

And yet Lord Drayson and his compatriots weren't satisfied, so they set out for the Bonneville Salt Flats last month to see how much faster they could go. Unfortunately the dried-out lakebed was (ironically) flooded, so the plans were scrapped. But with typical British resolve and a stiff upper lip, the Drayson crew went back to Elvington this week, where they not only broke their previous record, but also set some new ones in the process.

Though still pending FIA and MSA certification, the Drayson prototype hit a top speed of 205.139 mph over one mile, just a single tick past the previous record for electric vehicles under 999 kilograms. Lord Drayson also set the record over one kilometer, again from a flying start, at 333.271 km/h.

While they were at it, the converted Lola also set a new record in Britain for the fastest speed achieved by a wheel-driven vehicle of any propulsion, and took the electric record for a standing-start quarter-mile, which they set at 9.742 seconds. You know, just in case there was any question which was the fastest electric vehicle in the world.
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*(sub-999kg electric vehicle subject to FIA homologation and MSA ratification)

- Lord Drayson increases World Electric Land Speed Record for sub-999kg vehicles with a new average speed over one mile of 205.139mph and over one kilometre of 333.271kph, both records set from a flying start. The speeds were an average of two runs completed within an hour at Elvington Airfield, England (*subject to FIA homologation)
- The Drayson Racing prototype electric race car also set a new EV acceleration World Record over a measured quarter mile from a standing start, with a time of 9.742 seconds (*subject to FIA homologation)
- The Oxford based team also set a new British Land Speed Record for cars of any propulsion type driven by their wheels over one mile from a flying start (*subject to MSA ratification)

15 October – Oxford, England – Drayson RacingTM has increased the World Electric Land Speed Record for sub-999kg cars during official FIA-sanctioned runs at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England (*subject to FIA homologation).

The all-electric prototype racing car driven by Lord (Paul) Drayson and developed by Drayson Racing Technologies achieved a two-way average speed of 205.139mph over the measured mile and 333.271kph over the measured kilometre (*subject to FIA homologation) on the 3km long Elvington runway. The car reached an unofficial maximum speed of 219.1mph / 352.6kph during the runs in difficult, windy conditions according to GPS data.

This speed also represents a new British Land Speed Record (*subject to MSA ratification) over the measured mile for cars of any propulsion type driven by their wheels.

In addition, the Drayson Racing team submitted the car to FIA-sanctioned timed acceleration runs, setting a new World Electric Record from a standing start over a quarter mile with a time of 9.742 seconds and a top speed of 92.383mph (*subject to FIA homologation).

On the new record attempts, Lord Drayson (CEO) commented: "We are continuing the testing and development programme of our electric drivetrain technology and we are delighted with the results achieved today.

"Drayson Racing is a laboratory for novel EV technology such as the high power Qualcomm HaloTM wireless charging system, testing it to the most extreme level and that's why we do this. The engineering challenge of accelerating a 995kg electric car to these speeds and then stopping in time on such a short runway is pretty intense, but it's a great proving ground for our technology. It's also an exciting way of demonstrating what's possible with a state of the art electric vehicle."

The team returned to Elvington in an effort to take the prototype electric racing car even faster than before. When the Drayson Racing team last ran the car in June, it was still accelerating hard at the braking point on the runway. Analysis revealed that performance gains could be found in the car's DRT 4X2 640 all electric drivetrain developed by Drayson Racing Technologies, so the team spent the summer refining the system. Chassis partner Multimatic has also made further aerodynamic adjustments to reduce drag and further increase the car's performance potential.

Lord Drayson intended to discover the car's maximum possible speed on the 15-mile long track at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA last month, but did not get the opportunity after the event was cancelled due to flooding. With the development work on the car complete, the team decided to run again at Elvington to find out how much faster the car could go within the relatively tight confines of the 3km runway.

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