Lifeline for Bloodhound project
THE BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car (SSC), a project that aims to break land speed records and hit speeds in excess of 1 000mph (1 600km/h) at a specially built track at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, has been thrown a lifeline after being bought by a British entrepreneur.
Project Bloodhound was founded in 2007 and aims to hit speeds of 1 000mph at a specially built, 18km long, 1 500m wide race track at Hakskeen Pan.
The clay-covered Hakskeen Pan track, located about 250km north of Upington, has been under preparation over the past decade, and in that time over 16 000 tons of rock and stone has been removed by hand to smooth the surface.
However, the Bloodhound SCC went into administration in October and earlier this month administrators said efforts to secure an investor had failed and the project would be scrapped.
Over the weekend, Bloodhound SSC announced that a Yorkshire-based entrepreneur, Ian Warhurst, had bought the business and assets for an undisclosed sum.
Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory LLP, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the passion that clearly exists for Bloodhound and are thrilled that we have been able to secure a buyer who is able to give this inspiring project a future.
“He will be outlining his plans for the project in detail early in the New Year.”
“In addition to seeking to break the land speed world record, the project is a major R&D (research and development) catalyst and the focal point for a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education campaign which has reached over two million children since its launch,” a company press statement said.
It pointed out that to date, the project had operated on a partnership and sponsorship model, with support from a variety of partners including Rolls Royce and Rolex as well as the Ministry of Defence, which lent prototype jet engines for the car, and the Northern Cape provincial government, which has supported the creation of the track.
The project has already successfully built a viable racing car which has been tested to 320km/h, whilst developing or testing propulsion, aerodynamic and telecommunications technologies with the potential for far-reaching applications outside of the project.