Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 15:15 UK

Steam car record tests completed


A racing team completes final tests on a British-built steam car ahead of a world speed record attempt in the US

A British-built steam supercar has completed final tests ahead of a land speed world record attempt.

The vehicle, which was built in the New Forest, reached speeds of 60mph (97km/h) at the Ministry of Defence's Thorney Island facility in Emsworth, Hampshire.

The team hopes it will reach up to 170mph (274km/h) at an airforce base in California's Mojave desert in June.

It aims to beat Fred Marriot's century-old 128mph (206km/h) record set in 1906 on Florida's Daytona Beach.

That record is the longest-standing land speed record for steam-powered vehicles.

The British Steam Car Challenge team includes test driver Don Wales, nephew of the late Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who between them achieved more than 20 land and water speed records.

Steam car
The British Steam Car team will try to break a century old world record

The team abandoned similar tests on 23 March due to technical problems but officials confirmed there were no such problems this time.

Mr Wales said: "It was absolutely fantastic and put paid to all the frustrations of the last few months. I enjoyed every moment of it as I went along.

"The car is just so powerful, you can get to feel the immense force and power of it."

Lynne Angel, team director, said: "It was fantastic to proves that it works and we are going to break the world land speed record in steam."

The world record attempt will take place on a dry lake bed at Edward's Airforce Base in June.

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