The company behind Bloodhound SSC, the British effort to build a 1000 mph supersonic car, has announced that the project has gone into administration.
Founded in 2007 by Richard Noble and Andy Green (who set the existing land speed record of 763.035 mph with ThrustSSC back in 1997) the project aims to hit speeds of 1000 mph at a specially built, 18km long, 1500m wide race track at Hakskeen Pan in the deserts of the Northern Cape of South Africa.
As previously reported by The Engineer, the car is now almost completely built. Last year (October 2017) it completed a series of 200mph test runs at Cornwall’s Newquay airport and the vehicle was soon to begin higher speed runs in South Africa.
The team is now seeking around £25m in investment to provide guaranteed funding, exit administration and see the project to completion.
To date, the project has 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 has lent prototype jet engines for the car, and the Northern Cape Provincial Government in South Africa, which has supported the creation of the track. Individual donations from members of the public have also supported the development of the car and the global education programme.
Commenting on the announcement Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator with FRP Advisory LLP said: “Whilst not an insignificant amount, the £25m Bloodhound requires to break the land speed record is a fraction of the cost of, for example, finishing last in an F1 season or running an Americas Cup team. This is an opportunity for the right investor to leave a lasting legacy. We are already in discussion with a number of potential investors and would encourage any other interested party to contact us without delay.”
The project’s chief engineers Mark Chapman was also optimistic that this latest upset isn’t the final chapter in the Bloodhound story. “Bloodhound has had enormous success in creating the world’s most advanced land vehicle,” he said. “As we now move out of the R&D phase and into the operational phase of the project, we recognise that we need a different approach to funding. This project is built around the most successful team in the history of Land Speed Racing, and with the right support we have no doubt that the project will achieve its aims and could be racing for the record in as little as ten months.”