The fastest man on earth

The fastest speed achieved by a racing driver is Jochen Mass’ 247mph qualifying lap at Le Mans in 1989. Pretty quick, but nowhere near as fast as the record set by Wing Commander Andy Green from the RAF, who is appearing at the Autosport International show, held at the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday 11 January.

Officially the fastest man on earth, Green will be speaking about his achievements and the incredible experience of driving at speeds beyond the sound barrier. The 47-year-old was the first, and still is the only man to break the speed of sound on land.

The former fighter pilot holds the current land speed record, set in 1997 in Thrust SSC, and also the world’s fastest diesel car record with the JCB DIESELMAX in August 2006, raising the bar to over 350mph. Furthermore, Green will continue his partnership with Thrust SSC project manager Richard Noble in the Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic Car) project; Noble will also be appearing at Europe’s largest motorsport show on Saturday 10 January.

Bloodhound SSC is radically different from any previous record attempt, the car using a combination of rocket and jet propulsion. Green will face some unique challenges on his way past Mach 1.4, the speed equivalent to four and a half football pitches per second. Despite spending less than 20 minutes a year in the car, Green must prepare himself for acceleration and deceleration forces of up to three times the force of gravity, extreme vibration and limited vision, as well as the challenge of controlling a jet engine, V12 engine and a rocket.

The record attempt requires two passes of a measured mile in opposite directions, but at over 1000mph, that distance will be covered by Bloodhound SSC in less than four seconds. All of this, and without the last-resort option of an ejector seat if things get out of hand!

“I'm really looking forward to Autosport International, meeting some of the fans and enthusiasts who have given the Bloodhound Project such a warm welcome,” said Green. “People support Bloodhound SSC because it’s all about making engineering, science, maths and technology exciting, as well as helping to inspire young people to follow careers in these areas.”“Autosport International is proud to host Wing Commander Andy Green and the Bloodhound SSC project, not only because of its technical innovation and enterprise, but also because of the immense super-human effort required in succeeding,” said Haymarket Exhibitions Show Director Ian France. “Their appearance demonstrates that Autosport International is always at the cutting edge of the sport.”

Notes to editorsThe 2008 Autosport International Show attracted over 84,000 visitors, including 28,000 trade buyers. Over 1,000 media representatives were present throughout the event, covering the show’s numerous live displays and 850 exhibitors.

Autosport International will be open to the public on Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 January 2009. Adult tickets start at £29 per day, with children’s tickets costing £19, and include a 34-page souvenir brochure. To book, visit autosport-international.com or call 0044 (0) 844 579 3188.

Paddock passes are available for £35 per adult and £25 for children. In addition to standard admission, visitors will have access to the Driver Signing Area as well as fast-track entry to the Live Action Arena and a great viewing position at the centre of the grandstands.

A Platinum Club pass, at £100, includes all the benefits of the Paddock Pass plus exclusive access to the VIP enclosure at the very top of the Live Action Arena grandstand, complete with champagne and canapés. You will also receive complimentary parking, cloakroom at the NEC plus a goodie bag.