Kimberley - The Northern Cape provincial government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bloodhound Project, for a world speed record attempt that will take place in 15 months’ time.
Former Royal Air Force fighter pilot, Wing Commander Andy Green, will attempt to raise the current record 1228km/h - which he holds - to 1609km/h (1000 miles per hour in traditional British terms) in the world’s fastest car, the Bloodhound SSC, at Hakskeen Pan in August 2015.
At that speed the car would travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg - or from John O’Groats’ to Land’s End - in less than an hour.
But first the world’s fastest car needs to be built.
The Bloodhound Supersonic Car is about 40 percent complete, and will be ready to test in July 2015. A month later it will make its way to the Northern Cape for the record attempt .
More than 15 million people all around the world are expected to watch via the internet, while thousands of tourists are expected to travel to Hakskeen Pan, to see the record runs live.
The agreement was signed by the director-general of the provincial government, advocate Justice Bekebeke, and Bloodhound project director, Richard Noble, on Thursday.
“This is the best track in the world right now.”
He said the Northern Cape government had been instrumental in building and refining the track and in promoting the project.
“It’s the most exciting thing you can do on God’s Earth,” Noble said.
Bekebeke confirmed that the work on the Hakskeen Pan track was almost complete.
“Due to recent heavy rains, a team of 50 people cannot access the pan to do the final removal of stone heaps.”
He added that the recornd attempt would market and profile the Northern Cape as a world class extreme sport destination of choice.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND ECONOMIC SPIN-OFFS
“It is anticipated that the Northern Cape will also benefit immensely from the economic spin-offs that accompany the hosting of such a world class event.”
He added that the Department of Roads and Public Works had created job opportunities by clearing the track and safety zones, through the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme.
“About 320 people were able to earn a basic income for their families through this project. We are proud of those local people who have worked tirelessly in extreme heat and windy conditions, making their contribution to the success of this project.”
Bekebeke said that the record attempt would strengthen tourism in the Kalahari and stimulate the local economy.
“The Department of Economic Development and Tourism, which is the leading this event, can attest to the success of the Kalahari Desert Speed Week, which is hosted annually at the Hakskeen Pan. For this reason we have also established a socio-economic development strategy to ensure community beneficiation for the people of Mier Municipality.”
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