Electric car SMASHES land-speed record

LOS ANGELES – An electric vehicle built by a team of engineers from Monaco-based firm Venturi and Ohio State University has smashed the world land-speed record, a statement said.

The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3), driven by Roger Schroer, clocked an average speed of 549.43kph and hit a top speed of 576kph during a run on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on Monday.

The record beat the previous best of 495kph, set by the VBB-3’s predecessor in 2010. The record-breaking run had been three years in the making.

Previous efforts at the record had been cancelled because of bad weather at Bonneville, which has been a popular venue for attempts to set land-speed records since 1914.

“It’s a relief because we were waiting for this result for three years,” Venturi owner Gildo Pallanca Pastor said in a statement.

Giorgio Rizzoni, research director at Ohio State’s Centre for Automotive Research, said the team had set the long-term goal of breaking the 644kph barrier.

“The progress made this year is a very important step in the quest to reach the 644kph goal,” said Rizzoni.

The world land-speed record for a jet- and rocket-propelled vehicle stands at 1,224kph, set by British driver Andy Green in Thrust SSC at Black Rock Desert in the United States in October 1997. — AFP

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