'Fastest man on earth' to race at Snetterton Lotus Festival.
Celia WiggThe 'fastest man on Earth' will swap straight-line speed for a motor racing circuit when he makes his competitive debut this weekend at the Snetterton Lotus Festival.Celia Wigg
The 'fastest man on Earth' will swap straight-line speed for a motor racing circuit when he makes his competitive debut this weekend at the Snetterton Lotus Festival.
A qualified fighter pilot, Wing Commander Andy Green became the first person to break the sound barrier on land when he set the world land-speed record of 763.035mph in America, driving a Thrust Super Sonic Car, back in 1997.
Yet, despite his talent for high-speed driving, the 47-year-old has never taken part in a circuit race before and will be making his racing debut in the Lotus on Track Elise Trophy, held over the two days.
He will be driving a special-liveried Lotus Elise to raise awareness of the Bloodhound SSC project - his latest attempt to break the world land speed record by exceeding an incredible 1,000 mph.
'When the opportunity to race a Lotus Elise was first mentioned, I was thrilled,' said Wing Cdr Green. 'At first glance, driving a land-speed record car and racing a Lotus Elise are very different challenges, but many of the skills are surprisingly similar.
'During the land-speed record run, I'll be focused on keeping the car in a straight line using steering inputs, wheel grip and aerodynamic stability - all of which will be changing dramatically during the run, and assessing the stability and controllability of the car continually.
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'Learning to race a Lotus Elise involves all of these skills.'
As part of the preparations for his first foray into circuit tracing, Wing Cdr Green took his ARDS National B racing licence last month at the race track near Attleborough, and passed with flying colours first time.
'I've learned a huge amount about how to manoeuvre a car around Snetterton's challenging corners and fast straights, controlling over-steer and under-steer and 'feeling' for the optimum speed to corner,' he said.
'The advantage of doing this at Snetterton is that I can practise and practise it again and again, and of course I don't have to deal with the psychological effects of accelerating to supersonic speed - effects so powerful they would make most people pass out.'
Wing Cdr Green said he is looking forward to competing at Snetterton, describing it as the perfect venue for the event.
In addition to the Elise trophy, the Lotus festival will feature an F1 demonstration, a full programme of support races, plus a celebration barbeque and live band on the Saturday evening.
Tickets cost from �12 each day for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 or under. For more information call 0870 950 9000, or visit the website www.snetteron.co.uk.