British steam car completes final testing

Next stop 170mph

The British Steam Car Challenge - which aims to break the 127mph record for a steam-powered car - has finished its final public tests before being shipped to the US for the record attempt.

The British team successfully hit 80mph and deployed the braking parachute. The kettle car will now be packed up before being shipped out from Portsmouth.

The three ton car hit 60mph in its first run and 80mph in its second run at an MoD facility on Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire. Earlier tests had to be aborted because impurities got into the water system. It uses demineralised water and 12 boilers powered by liquid petroleum gas.

It was driven by Don Wales, nephew of speedboat driver Donald Campbell.

Wales said: "The car is just so powerful, you can get to feel the immense force and power of it. It was just itching to get away at the top."

"The car really did handle beautifully. After that run I feel more confident about breaking the record."

The existing record was set by a Stanley steam car at Daytona Beach in 1906.

Images and video available from the Challenge website here. ®

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