Portishead man to set world speed record?

Portishead man to set world speed record?

A PORTISHEAD man will be heading to America to attempt the speed record for the world’s fastest production car.

Paul Blything, of Somerset Mews, has been given the enviable job of launching the new 2500BHP ZKRs Keating Supercar at the Monaco Motor Show next month.

He will then be taking the sleek machine, which has a price tag of �750,000 and a top speed of 311mph, to the salt flats in America in 2012 to try to beat the current world record.

The record was set by the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, which achieved a two-way timed speed of 267.86mph on June 26 last year.

Mr Blything said: “I’m absolutely certain I can beat the previous record, but whether I can get it over 300mph, I’m not sure.

“It will all depend on the day whether the temperature is right and if I’m feeling good.”

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Speaking about reaching G-force inducing speeds, Mr Blything said: “When you get over 220mph you might as well close your eyes. At 260mph you’re passing the length of three football pitches in a second.

“You’ve just got to keep the car straight because if you put on the breaks or turn it awkwardly the car will just flip.

“You do close your eyes at some stage or your brain will automatically shut down as it can’t cope.

“When the alarm goes you’ve got to start slowing down or you’re going to run out of space. It takes about four-five miles to stop and you have to use a parachute.

“The worst thing is when you pull the parachute. You’re still going forward, but you’re also being pulled back. It’s like jumping out of an aircraft with a parachute, but magnified by about 20 times.”

Mr Blyting has been unable to train for the record attempt as he said the conditions of racing on salt flats cannot be simulated.

However, the 66-year used to drive formula one stock cars and won a European championship race during his career.

Mr Blything retired from the sport in 1995 and now works as an engineer and director of sales at Aggretech AG in Germany, where he lives for six months of the year.

It was through his contacts on the job that he was chosen to drive the new supercar by Anthony Keating, who designed and built the car.

Mr Blything said: “I deal with a company which asked me if I wanted to test drive the cars they made.

“It’s really re-ignited my passion for racing. I still go to watch it but I’m too old to do it now.

“The record attempt is a risk, but so is everything. I’m really looking forward to it.”