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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 May, 2005, 00:43 GMT 01:43 UK
Land speed record bid abandoned
The e=motion electric car
The team plan to return next year to renew their land speed record bid
A two-man British team has abandoned an attempt at the "official" world land speed record for an electric car after they were unsuccessful three times.

A series of technical glitches at a test track in Nevada put an end to Colin Fallows and Mike Newby's dream.

Designer Mr Fallows, from Northampton, had hoped his torpedo-shaped ABB e=motion car would smash the current record of 245mph by at least 55mph.

But a scheduled attempt on Saturday failed after the car would not fire up.

Saturday was the last chance to attempt the record before insurance and a three-day permit to use the stretch of Route 93A near the city of West Wendover expired.

The 54-year-old Mr Fallows and driver Mr Newby, from Oxfordshire, hope to return next year with their bright orange, 10m-long (32ft) car to repeat their attempt. The car has 52 batteries and no mechanical gears.

'Extremely disappointed'

Mr Newby's wife Wendy said: "The car's just not working. Mark said it wasn't the batteries but the components from them.

"They have fired the batteries up but the car's not starting.

"Mark is extremely disappointed after all the work he has put in, getting sponsorship and putting so much time into it.

"He has been working for this for so long, but he will do it some way or another."

Two previous attempts on Thursday and Friday were abandoned due to winds and electrical problems.

The attempts were monitored and verified by officials from FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), the governing body of world motorsport.

The official record of 245mph (394km/h) was set by the US White Lightning vehicle in 1999, but e=motion had aimed to go through faster than 300mph (483km/h).

An Ohio University team has already averaged just under 315mph across two runs, but the Buckeye Bullet mark was not set with official FIA observers present. It is, however, recognised by the SCTA and BNI (Southern California Timing Association and Bonneville Nationals Inc).

Details of the bid

Steam engines could be eco hope
28 Dec 04 |  Science/Nature
Blind driver in new speed attempt
08 Sep 04 |  Oxfordshire

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