Mojave, California – A British team that is attempting to set a new land speed record with a steam-powered car has arrived at Edwards Air Force Base and established a base camp.
“There’s a lot of work to do before we can make the record attempts,” said team manager Matt Candy. “We have to set up our communication system, check the radios, assemble the fuelling rigs, unpack the tools, obtain the propane, get the fridge working and put the toilet in place. It’s a bit like an Everest expedition but in baking heat rather than the freezing cold.”
The British Steam Car arrived after 21 days of shipping from the U.K. and was deemed undamaged from its trip.
The team is tackling high heat and winds in the area, and said that the Steam Car can’t run if winds reach over 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h). Winds in the afternoon can reach between 20 and 30 m.p.h. (32 to 48 km/h).
Safety equipment that meets the regulations of the Southern Timing Association, the recognized body for land speed records, has been fitted to the British Steam Car and will be inspected by representatives from the association, as well as the FIA, the international governing body of motorsport. Dynamic test runs are scheduled for July 13.
“We then have a window until the 24th July in which to make the record attempts,” Candy said. “Potentially, each run could be an attempt on the record, but to qualify as an official record, we have to turn the car around and make a run in the opposite direction within 60 minutes. Obviously, if a first run is not at the required speed we shan’t attempt to go for the record. Instead, we’ll wait and make another attempt to get a fast first run.”