FRANKIE DeGROOT | News | CONTACT
The Land Speed Record has again been set in Australia, marking the first time a successful attempt on the record has been made here since 1964.
In that year, Englishman Donald Campbell set a new record of 648.73km/h in ‘Bluebird’ on Lake Eyre. This was the only time since 1927 that the record had not been set in the United States, which has also been the setting for every new record; until now.
The previous record of 1223.65km/h was set in Nevada in 1997 by driver Andy Green in Thrust SSC; a pointy 10 tonne beast powered by two Rolls Royce F4 Phantom II fighter jet engines producing around 102,000 bhp.
However, this record has unexpectedly been eclipsed by an almost factory standard vehicle; a 1989 Nissan Skyline R32. To add to the feat, the record was set not on a racetrack but a public road, and the driver was not a recognised motor racing driver but an independent pharmaceutical retailer.
“I was on my way to drop some stuff off to a mate out at Bonnyrigg” said Ali Medina, 32. “I’m on the Hume Highway and I seen the [traffic] light go orange. I didn’t want to get done for a red light again cause I only have 2 points left, so I just launched it”.
However, a miscalculation on how far away the intersection was saw the acceleration continue for longer than anticipated, resulting in the incredible speed. “
Yeah, I thought shit, I might not make it hey; but I was already committed to it, it was too late to pull out, you know. I didn’t know how fast I was going, but I knew it would be pretty quick after I broke the sound barrier. Then like, I look down and the needle was just nudging the 1300km/h mark on the speedo.”
Unfortunately for Ali, an unmarked mobile speed camera vehicle recorded his speed at a verified 1327.42km/h just after the intersection and he was immediately issued with a $2500 fine and ordered to attend 6 weeks of traffic school before being disembowelled and strangled with his own intestines, which is the standard penalty in NSW for breaking the speed limit by more than 1000km/h.
Luckily the last part of the sentence was dropped on appeal but it took Ali almost 6 months before he decided to submit the speed camera evidence to the FIA as proof of his record.
“I didn’t want to make a big deal about it or nothing” he explained “but I thought yeah, why not? As long as nobody asks what I was doing driving to Bonnyrigg at 11:00pm on a Saturday”