Bloodhound Land Speed Record’s attempts to break the land speed record for a steerable car has hit a major roadblock, and its name is Covid-19 coronavirus.
The current record is the 763 mph achieved by the Thrust SSC team in 1997, but Bloodhound LSR wants to ultimately hit 1,000 mph. The team managed to reach 628 mph during testing last November on jet power alone, but to go faster the team needs to raise 8 million British pounds (approximately $10.5 million) to fund the development of a rocket booster.
Unfortunately, all talks with potential sponsors has ceased due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bloodhound LSR said Friday. As a result, the project has been put on hold to preserve cash and is now likely to miss its planned 2021 attempt at the Hakskeenpan in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert.
“Rightfully, the world has more important things to focus on right now,” said Ian Warhurst, CEO of Bloodhound LSR. “Discussions with a number of global brands were looking promising when Covid-19 struck, but the sponsorship industry literally shut down.”
The good news is that Bloodhound LSR plans to pick up with talks with potential sponsors later in the year.
This is actually the second time that the team has hit the financial skids. Bloodhound LSR first ran into trouble in 2018 but was thrown a lifeline by Warhurst, a mechanical engineer and manager of several businesses in the automotive engineering sector. He and his team are also running Bloodhound LSR as a business, selling sponsorship in the same way that motorsport teams are often funded.