RAC Cars News


British Actor Sets New 'Flying Mile' Record

By raccars Published

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British actor, Idris Elba, has broken an 88-year record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell, by driving a Bentley Continental GT at 180.61mph for a measured mile. The previous record, set in 1927, recorded an average speed of 174.8mph over a one mile distance.

Sir Malcolm Campbell's 1927 flying mile attempt was conducted on the Pendine Sands beach in Wales, as no roads or runways in the UK were long, straight and flat enough to achieve a record breaking speed over the distance of a mile. The record was set in Campbell's famous Bluebird car, wearing goggles and a leather flying hat.

While Idris Elba's record breaking run was conducted on the same Welsh beach, the actor wore a fireproof suit and a crash helmet, to take the £175,000 Bentley Continental GT for its run. To achieve the record, Elba had to make a return run. His 180.361mph average speed was given verification by the independent UK Timing Association.

Elba is the star of US crime drama, The Wire, and British police series, Luther. His flying mile adventure took place as part of a TV programme called 'No Limits', being filmed in four parts for the Discovery UK channel. The series sees 42 year old Elba taking on a number of racing challenges on land, in the air and on water. He has previously driven a NASCAR racer and taken part in high speed rallying for a 2013 TV series called King of Speed.

The Bentley Continental GT was built at the brand's Crewe factory and comes armed with a W12 6.0 litre twin turbo engine, generating 621bhp. It is capable of reaching 206mph and gets from 0-60mph in four seconds flat. The car has previously broken a number of world speed records on ice.

The previous flying mile record holder, Sir Malcolm Campbell, was famous for his world speed record attempts, with 13 records to his name from the 1920s and 1930s. He was the first man to drive a road car faster than 300mph and achieved a number of world records on water. His career included military service in both world wars, an unsuccessful attempt at becoming the Conservative MP for Deptford in the 1935 general election, and Grand Prix motor racing with wins in a Bugatti T37A at the 1927 and 1928 French Grand Prix de Boulogne.

Campbell's son, Donald, continued his father's work and set a number of world land and water speed records in the 1950s and 1960s.

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