Revitalised Bloodhound project unveils new car livery and HQ
Image credit: Grafton LSR Ltd
The new owners of the Bloodhound supersonic car project, formerly known as Bloodhound SSC, have unveiled a new look and name for the car that will attempt to set a new land speed record.
Ian Warhurst, CEO of Grafton LSR Ltd and the new owner of the Bloodhound project, opened the new headquarters today and announced that the new-look Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) vehicle and team are firmly back on the trail of a world land speed record.
The newly assembled Bloodhound LSR team will focus on completing development of the jet- and rocket-powered car and moving to the next phase of the programme – the high-speed testing – as soon as possible.
The new name, Bloodhound LSR, accompanies a complete rebranding of the programme. This includes a visual transformation of the car, which was revealed in a new striking red and white livery as she was moved into her new home at SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College (UTC) on the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park. The previous SSC livery was predominantly a dark blue with orange accents.
Dates for both the high-speed test runs and the world land speed record runs will be announced once operational and logistics planning is complete. Initially the target is to break the world land speed record (currently 763.035mph). This is necessary to understand how the car behaves as it enters the transonic stage initially and then supersonic speed levels.
If this can be acheived, the next target is the maximum design speed of approximately 1,000mph, taking into account the success and subsequent review of the first phase.
The next phase of the Bloodhound LSR project will be funded through sponsorship and partnerships, with cashflow supported by the project’s investor, Ian Warhurst. Sponsorship opportunities now include the possibility of title and livery sponsorship.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Warhurst said, “Since buying Bloodhound from the administrators last December, the team and I have been overwhelmed by the passion and enthusiasm the public have shown for the project. Over the last decade, an incredible amount of hard graft has been invested in the project and it would be a tragedy to see it go to waste.
“Starting with a clean slate, it’s my ambition to let Bloodhound off the leash see just how fast this car can go. I’ve been reviewing the project and I’m confident there is a commercial business proposition to support it. I’ll provide robust financing to ensure there is cashflow to hit the high-speed testing deadlines we set ourselves.”
The UK Land Speed Record Centre at SGS Berkeley Green UTC provides a 975-square-metre workshop facility in the heart of the college campus, fulfilling Bloodhound’s promise of delivering educational inspiration.
SGS Berkeley Green UTS group chief executive and executive principal Kevin Hamblin said; “We’re excited that Bloodhound is joining us at Berkeley. To have such a groundbreaking engineering project on site which shares our philosophy to enthuse and encourage the next generation of engineers, designers and scientists, will be invaluable for our own students and also for thousands of young people across the region who will have an opportunity to visit the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park over the next few years and see the car for themselves.”
The Bloodhound LSR team is headed by Ian Warhurst, joined by driver and current world land speed record holder Andy Green, engineering director Mark Chapman, chief financial officer Rick Sturge, operations director Martyn Davidson, commercial director Ewen Honeyman, and many of the original mechanics and technicians, providing continuity from the old programme to the new.
Richard Noble, former CEO of Bloodhound Programme Ltd, said: “It was a very hard fight to create the Bloodhound car, the largest STEM programme in the UK, the public engagement programme and the 1,000-man-year desert preparation. Our weakness had always been finance; now, after administration, with Ian Warhurst the team finally has the financial support it needs to drive forward with confidence and achieve what we set out to do nearly 12 years ago.”
Grafton LSR commercial director Ewen Honeyman said: “With Ian providing the cashflow to keep the project on track, Bloodhound LSR is a very different sponsorship proposition to the blue and orange car. We’re already having detailed discussions with a number of organisations about exciting new sponsorship possibilities, as well as talking to those involved in the previous phase of the programme.”
The Bloodhound LSR car’s current bare red and white livery is likely to change subsequent to the sponsorship team’s discussions over title branding opportunities with interested parties. The iconic blue and orange livery from the R&D phase will now be remembered in archive films and photos.