World steam record attempt will take place on 17 August
31 July 2009

A British team aiming to break the 103-year-old land speed record for a steam powered car has given its car its first test on American soil.

The British Steam Car Challenge is aiming to beat the record of 127mph set by American Fred Marriott in a Stanley steam car in 1906.

See the British Steam Car Challenge picture gallery

The team had previously successfully tested its “lean, green, mean machine” at Thorney Island in the UK, and now it has run at the Edwards Air Force Base in California, the base for its record attempt. It has confirmed its bid will take place on 17 August under the supervision of officials from the FIA.

Project manager Matt Candy said, "We reached 77mph over a very short distance of just 1km which was comparable to our tests at Thorney. We were due to do a high-speed return run but the gas rig had trouble refuelling and so we had to abort it.

The team plans to replace the gas pump and will continue testing today. On its latest test run in the US, the car produced more steam than when it ran in the UK, but the majority was wasted due to a valve being left open.

The world record attempt had been planned originally for 4 August but this has now been put back to later in the month to allow the team to sort out its technical problems.

“It's important that the technical issues with the support rigs are resolved before an attempt is made, and these things can't be rushed,” said Candy.

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