Life­line for Blood­hound project

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - NORMA WILDENBOER STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

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