Speed record team Bloodhound calls in administrators

The British-led attempt to create the world’s first land vehicle capable of breaking the 1,000mph speed barrier has called in administrators as it seeks a £25m cash injection.

FRP Advisory said on Monday that it had been called into handle the insolvency process for the company behind Project Bloodhound, confirming a story first reported by Sky News.

Joint administrator Andrew Sheridan said the administration “provides some breathing space to identify an investor who will bring the guaranteed funding, impetus and expertise required to drive the project forward”.

Bloodhound Programme Ltd, whose figurehead is Richard Noble, himself a holder of the land speed record, has been in talks with potential investors about new financial backing for several weeks.

The company was established more than a decade ago, but now believes that with funding in place it could be trying to break the existing 763mph record, set 20 years ago in supersonic car Thrust SSC, in as little as ten months.

Sources said the appointment of administrators was the only remaining option for the company as it tries to buy time to secure new backing.‎

The additional funds would be designed to take the world’s most advanced land speed vehicle to the next stage of its development, including trials at 500mph, 800mph and finally 1,000 mph.

The project already has a number of prominent sponsors, such as Rolls-Royce, the aircraft engine-maker, which helps the team operate a Eurofighter Typhoon EJ200 jet engine lent to it by the Ministry of Defence.

Rolls-Royce has also assisted with the refinement of the car’s aerodynamics, while Rolex, as the official timing partner, has created custom-made instruments for Bloodhound’s cockpit.

Bloodhound’s driver is Wing Commander Andy Green, the current land-speed record-holder, and is expected to make its first desert run in South Africa next year, when it is targeting a speed of approximately 500mph.

Mr Sheridan 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 a 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.”

Mark Chapman, chief engineer at Project Bloodhound, 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.

“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.”

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