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Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Speed king breaks 300mph barrier
The Vampire's engine comes from a Red Arrow jet
Engineer Colin Farrows has smashed the British land speed record with a 300mph run in his jet-propelled car.

Mr Fallows shattered his own previous 269mph record in his Vampire car just two hours after his colleague Mark Newby recorded a speed of 272mph at Elvington airfield, near York.

The pair had been working together to break the 300mph barrier and made several attempts in their two cars, Vampire and Split Second, throughout Wednesday morning.

But Mr Fallows, 50, from Northamptonshire, clocked the quickest official time, recorded as 300.30mph over two timed quarter-mile stretches.

Despite being the first to reach 300mph on British soil, Mr Fallows, who owns the engineering company which built the two cars, hopes to set even faster times in the future.

Mark Newby (left) and Colin Fallows
Mark Newby (left) and Colin Fallows worked together to break the 300mph barrier
"I'm absolutely delighted. It was that last run which just managed to put us over the 300mph barrier," he said.

"Three hundred miles per hour is really about the limit you can go with current tyre technology but maybe the next barrier will be 350mph."

Mark Newby made seven runs with Split Second on a two-mile stretch at Elvington on Wednesday. The average of his two fastest runs was 272mph.

But the crowds who came to see the record attempt knew Mr Fallows had the best chance of beating the 300mph barrier in his 20-year-old Vampire.

Under 20 seconds

The 30-foot car is powered by a Rolls-Royce engine taken from a Red Arrow aeroplane and can accelerate from a standing start to 272mph in six seconds.

He made four record attempts getting closer to the 300mph mark each time.

His final attempt earned rapturous applause from the crowd as he pushed the average of his best two times over the 300mph barrier.

From a standing start he travelled along the two-mile stretch and stopped with the help of parachutes in less than 20 seconds.

Colin Fallows
The next challenge for Colin Fallows is the world speed record for an electric vehicle
Mr Newby, who held the top speed for only two hours, has the consolation of claiming the unofficial record for holding the British land speed record for the shortest time.

He said: "The only one goal has always been to win for the team and the sponsors today.

"It really didn't matter whether it was me or Colin who went out and got it just as long as we actually did it."

Mr Fallows, an ex-RAF technician and RAF-trained midwife, now aims to beat the world land speed record for an electric-powered car in 2002.

His company Primetime is already designing the vehicle which he hopes will propel him over the current 245mph record.

The world land speed record with a jet engine is 763mph, set in America by Andy Green in Richard Noble's supersonic car Thrust SSC.

But Fallows, who has four grandchildren, is content with his achievement for now.

He said: "It is the result of a lot of hard work. The weather was good for us as it was dry with very little wind.

"It's a brilliant feeling going at that speed. You feel in control and are totally aware of what's going on. It's the ultimate ride."

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30 Oct 97 | Sci/Tech
Supersonic car comes home
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