Whissendine motorcyclists shatter 50-year-old land speed records
Three motorcyclists from Whissendine are celebrating shattering a range of 50-year-old land speed records.
Ian Arnold, Patrick Bramman and Richard Scott took turns on Wednesday to ride an Aprilia 70cc on the 1.7-mile long runway at Kendrew Barracks, the former RAF base at Cottesmore.
They set 17 British land speed records which were a mix of both distance and duration, ranging from one hour and 10km up to 1000km and 12 hours.
Officials from both the Auto Cycle Union and United Kingdom Timing Association officiated the event, which started at 7.30am, and the records are expected to be ratified in the next fortnight.
An ecstatic Ian revealed that the effort was almost scuppered by a dangerous mechanical issue with the bike, which he built and tuned himself.
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He said: “Overall the bike ran faultlessly for the majority of the event and it required only two spark plug changes.
“However, upon Richard taking the chequered flag it was spotted that a critical shaft had fractured which could have caused the rider to be thrown from the machine.
“That was unbelievably good luck to have happened on the very last of the 193 laps.”
Ian has had a long term ambition to challenge some land speed records and he hatched the plan to build and race a machine to challenge records last set in 1968 whilst working in Nigeria.
After searching the country for a suitable venue, staff at Kendrew Barracks stepped forward and allowed a rare concession to use their runway to create a speed text course three-and-a-half miles long.
Having secured a small amount of sponsorship from small Italian tuning company, TRTeam FA2ST, the engine was tuned and taken for power testing with good results, including a top speed of well over 80mph.
The trio each rode the bike for an hour at a time as they sped along the course in pursuit of those records.
Ian added: “The records should be confirmed in the next two weeks and formally placed in the record books.
“I am now preparing a 1954 French motorcycle to go to the famous Bonneville Salt flats to challenge more records in the tyre tracks of the legendary Burt Munro.”