It's a cloudy morning in August 2014 and, on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Avonmouth near Bristol, a team of engineers is at work on Thrust's successor. The car, Bloodhound SSC, marks a bold attempt to set a new Land Speed Record of 1,609kph (1,000mph) by 2016. If successful, it will not only mark the biggest jump in land-speed history, but will also be the culmination of a decade-long experiment in education and open engineering. ... "People ask me if Andy has an ejector seat," Chapman says, running his hand over the carbon-fibre monocoque that forms the car's cockpit and air intake for the jet engine. "He doesn't, because nobody has designed an ejector seat that can operate at Mach 1.4. If you ejected into the jet stream at 1,000mph, around 12 tonnes of force per square metre will hit you. This is the safest place for him to be." ... he MoD granted Bloodhound three EJ-200 test engines used for the Eurofighter development programme. As a result, 5,670 British secondary schools are now linked to the Bloodhound Education Project. A dedicated team runs workshops in which children can learn about physics and the car's engineering: Heathland School in Middlesex has managed to get a model rocket car to 462kph. Around the same time, Noble also decided to make Bloodhound open source, allowing anyone to download and critique the car's design plans. And, during the record attempts in 2015 and 2016, 12 cameras and more than 300 mounted sensors will stream live footage and data from the car, which anyone can follow online.
A former executive vice-chairman of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Mr Carey has plenty of experience in sports programming. He was involved in the successful launch of Fox Sports in 1994 and helped broker a $1.6bn deal between the network and the National Football League. But he had never been asked to reinvent a sport. ... For the past 40 years, F1 has been run as the personal fiefdom of Bernie Ecclestone, a former second-hand car dealer who transformed an amateur sport for enthusiasts into a multibillion-dollar enterprise watched by millions. Regardless of the numerous times the 86-year-old had sold stakes in F1’s parent company, diluting his own shareholding over time, his mastery of F1’s business strengthened his hold over the sport. Almost every decision needed his approval, from sponsorships to which celebrity could gain a VIP pass to the pit stops. ... F1’s new owners, with a controlling 35 per cent stake, had no intention of being passive investors, believing more conventional and less combative management was in order. The sport has suffered from years of waning interest from audiences and sponsors.