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Monday, October 18, 1999 Published at 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK

UK: Wales

Bluebird hopes to fly into record books

The new-look Bluebird Electric car at Pendinde Sands

Don Wales, grandson of speed ace Sir Malcolm Cambell, has returned to west Wales to have another go at breaking the electric land speed record.

His new car Bluebird named after Sir Malcolm's famous car was unveiled in Pendine at the weekend.

[ image: Sir Malcom Cambell in the original Bluebird car]
Sir Malcom Cambell in the original Bluebird car
The team set the UK record last year at 116mph and this year they were looking to add another 50mph to that record on Pendine sands.

The World record is held by the Americans. It stands at 215mph and was set at the Bonneville site, which is seven miles long.

The Bluebird team claim they have problems competing with the Americans because Pendine is only four miles long and the sand tends to be wet.

Their target for the next two weeks is to get above 180mph and Project Director Martin Rees said they were hoping to be able to use the experiences on Pendine sands as a gauge as to whether they can beat the Americans.

[ image: Hundreds turned out at Pendine to see last year's record]
Hundreds turned out at Pendine to see last year's record
The team has been invited to Bonneville in August next year.

The distinctive Bluebird car has undergone a comprehensive programme of analysis and testing following its triumphant capture of the UK national land speed record for electric cars last year.

Mr Rees said he hoped extensive changes to the bodywork would bring vital aerodynamic improvements to the vehicle as well as making it lighter.

"This time we are determined to get it right, and I am confident that we have," he said.

"The improvements we have made will make us serious contenders at a time when our American rivals are also preparing for a new attempt. We expect them to be running at Bonneville next week, so there's a head-to-head building up here."

[ image: Don Wales at Pendine sands]
Don Wales at Pendine sands
Race Team leader and driver Don Wales was looking forward to getting back on the sands.

"We've a way to go yet. We are determined to get things right, and won't go until we are ready and the car has been thoroughly tested on the beach," he said.

"But we Campbells don't give up easily. And with the continued support of our sponsors, we believe we can make a real difference this year. We want to show that we have got what it takes to challenge the Americans."

The trials have now satrted and the team expect to break the record within two weeks.

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