Bluebird Team falls short of record attempt
For the past few months, Don Wales and the Bluebird Electric Team have been preparing to break the existing land speed record for an electric car. Ultimately, fate would play other games on the team as the attempt came to a premature end.
With the team primed and ready for the record attempt at the Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire, Wales, on August 13th and 14th, 2011, Don’s son, Joseph, got the opportunity to enter the record books, continuing a family legacy that went all the way back to the patriarch, Malcolm Campbell. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as limited visibility within the cockpit of the Bluebird and an alarming slide towards the sea at speeds in excess of 100 mph caused the Bluebird to bounce severely on the uneven surface and hit a soft pothole of sand. The impact caused by the accident severely damaged the vehicle’s bodyshell, steering components, and the bottom wishbone.
“When you can’t see the ground in front of you for 60 meters or 70 meters you’re in trouble before you’ve seen it,” Don Wales said just after the accident.
The only good thing that came out of this doomed attempt was that Joe Wales was able to control the car enough that the damage it incurred was as minimal as it could have been given the circumstances surrounding the entire debacle. Nevertheless, the team is understandably dismayed about the failed record attempt, but they know more than anybody else the extenuating circumstances that can torpedo their record-setting quests. As for the future, the Bluebird Team is optimistic that another attempt is in the oven, although the time frame has yet to be determined.
“We’ll take the car back to Pembroke Docks and see what need to be fixed and see where we go from here," said Wales.