On the 19th Feb 2011 the BLOODHOUND team held a briefing for some of the volunteers and the media who had responded to an add in the Times newspaper asking for people to help clear stones from the Hakskeen Pan desert race track.
1K Club director – Ian Glover gives his account of the event:
"It starts to get very real!
by Ian Glover
As most of you know I am real enthusiast about land speed record cars as well as running the supporters club. So for me it has been a very exciting week. I was invited to Ron Ayers house to collect some pictures he had found in his house to sell for the project. Not only was it a real honour to be invited in, the pictures and artefacts on show provide an insight into the previous projects and how much these projects mean to the people directly involved. It’s infectious!
After more than two years thinking and talking about what it is going to be like to go to Africa and see the car run it starts to feel much closer. We are starting to see pictures come through of real parts for the car being built that look like the space frames of the land speed record cars of the past. It is also interesting that the show car is starting to be compared with the ‘real’ car!
I am then asked to help organise the presentation for those who have expressed an interest in going to the desert to ‘pick up stones’. Why would anyone in their right mind be interested in paying for themselves to go to Africa to work in the sun and move stones!? But here I am desperate to get in the audience and listen to Andy’s fantastic presentation on the history of land speed record, the affects of pressure on the car and why the clearance is so important.
I felt myself getting excited by the maps of where we can fly into and how far it is to drive to the run site. Although I have travelled in that part of Africa before, the idea of driving into the area with a real purpose is fantastic. Andy then describes what the surrounding area will be like and how the locals are already planning the accommodation and viewing areas. He also talks about me selling T Shirts through the fence to visitors which really made me smile. Great career progression, from board member of a multi-national business to T Shirt salesman in two years!
Although the press are in the centre everyone ignores the cameras, lights and boom. The press also listen as intensively as the rest of the audience. I have worked with the press in the past but the enthusiasm they show for the BLOODHOUND SSC is very different.
I am sitting with my long suffering wife who has put up with my next ‘great idea’ for all of our lives with a smile of support (I am a very lucky man!). Her original comment on Bloodhound was it is fine to be part of the project but do not involve me! She has got up very early in the morning to sell T Shirts and then said to me, ‘it would be good to know exactly what the dates are so we can put it in our diaries’? She has also Googled the flights and tells me costs..... I now know how truly infectious Bloodhound is!
I am now looking at the route and look forward to seeing some of you there!!!"