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The steam car sped around the track at mph, outstripping the time of mph by Fred Marriott in his Stanley Steamer Mr Burnett said: I enjoyed every moment of it. The car really did handle beautifully.

Mr Burnett piloted the car for both runs, reaching a peak speed of mph on the first and mph on the second, a team spokesman said. FIA official Mike Cook shakes hands with Mr Burnett as he gets out of his vehicle Record officials recognise a land speed record as the average speed of two passes made across the same measured distance in opposing directions within 60 minutes of each other.

Mr Burnett is a nephew of Lord Montague of Beaulieu, who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in for an offshore water speed record of mph. Other members pf the team, based in Lymington, Hampshire, included year-old test driver and father-of-two Don Wales, nephew of the late speed ace Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell.

Weighing three tons, the British Steam Car is made from a mixture of lightweight carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel space frame chassis. Demineralised water is pumped into the boilers at up to 50 litres a minute to cool the blistering burners, which produce three megawatts of heat. Steam is superheated to C and injected into the turbine at more than twice the speed of sound. The car is brought to a stop by large Goodyear tyres, brake discs and a parachute. Project manager Matt Candy said the team turned the car around for its second run with just eight minutes to spare before they would have breached FIA rules.

An overjoyed Mr Candy said: It was his vision that made it a reality. The engine uses propane gas and 12 boilers to generate the 3MW heat needed to create the steam. The steam flows through more than a mile of tubing to a turbine which drives the rear wheels forward Record holder: Fred Marriott in his Stanley Steamer, which held the world land speed record for years Before the attempt in California, officials from the British Steam Car said they acknowledged the attempt as the record to exceed.

A spokesman for the British team said they intended to stay on in California in an effort to emulate the Barber-Nicholls speed tomorrow. Advertisement Share or comment on this article: British steam supercar smashes year-old land-speed record.

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