Drayson Racing sets electric land speed record at 204.2MPH (video)

Nissan's ZEOD RC may sound fast at 186MPH, but it's a slow poke next to Drayson Racing's B12/69EV. The modified Le Mans car just broke the FIA's land speed record, hitting 204.2MPH on a course at the former RAF Elvington base in Yorkshire. While Drayson is quick to admit that the 850HP racer is unusual, it sees the project as groundwork for both a 2015 Formula E car and technologies that could filter down to regular vehicles. The speed record also gives electric racing more credibility at a crucial moment -- when EVs are just starting to rival gas-powered counterparts on the track, any leap in performance can help.

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Drayson Racing sets a new FIA World Land Speed record

Drayson Racing is proud to announce that it has set a new World Electric Land Speed Record of 204.185mph this evening.

Former science minister, businessman and racing driver Lord Drayson was behind the wheel of the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le-Mans PrototypeIn near perfect conditions, the Oxford-based sustainable motorsport company smashed the previous 175mph record, which had stood for nearly forty years, by 29.2mph.

As the new world record holder, Lord Drayson commented:
"I'm delighted we've beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable. Drayson Racing is a laboratory for EV technology, testing it to the most extreme level, as we've seen today."

"It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile. However I've got a great team and world-class partners, such as QualcommHalo, Michelin, Multimatic and Cosworth."

"This is a true celebration of Britain's leading position within the burgeoning electric vehicle industry and I'm delighted to be at the forefront of this electric revolution. We hope to set more records tomorrow. "

Drayson Racing is a research and development business, pioneering the development of sustainable technologies in the challenging environment of motorsport. With the electric land speed record it intends to showcase what is possible with an electric drivetrain and underscore Britain's leadership position in the EV industry.

The team aim to set more records, such as the EV acceleration record, tomorrow Wednesday 26 June, after which a full release with all data and FIA confirmed records will be issued.

MICHELIN Le Mans tyres carry Drayson to world record

Following the announcement earlier this month of a strategic partnership between Drayson Racing Technologies and MICHELIN, Lord Drayson was successful in his bid to break the World Electric Land Speed Record for a car under 1,000kg by posting an average of 204.185mph over two runs completed within one hour.

At the weekend, MICHELIN's LM P1 tyres helped Audi to victory in the 90th Le Mans 24 hour race and last night the same tyres carried Drayson Racing's electric race car to a new electric land speed record.

The Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype smashed the previous 175mph record, which had stood for 40 years, by 29.2mph. The record-breaking run took place at Elvington Airfield near York last night.

The MICHELIN tyres used by Drayson Racing were confidential-specification LM P1 tyres which have been developed for the sustained high speeds encountered in endurance racing and were designed in association with world-class endurance racing teams such as Audi and Toyota. The sizes were 33/68-18 front and 37/71-18 rear.

The tyre design chosen for the record attempt offered performance characteristics optimised for the conditions of the challenge and followed MICHELIN's Total Performance ethos by managing to combine these often conflicting requirements.

They needed to offer high traction levels to enable the car to accelerate to maximum speed as quickly as possible; good stability to enable the car to safely run with minimal down-force; and excellent braking performance to ensure the car could be stopped safely before the end of the runway.

This isn't the first record for an electric vehicle fitted with MICHELIN tyres. In 1899 La Jamais Contente broke the 100km/h barrier fitted with the Company's pneumatic tyres when most cars were still running on solid tyres.