Thrust SSC - Supersonic Race Update

Issue 190 Lead Article - 8th October 1997

Many Many Thanks

by Richard Noble

Stirling Moss has just added his voice to a fine outspoken editorial in this week's Auto Express - please read it. I hate to labour the point about our appalling finances and the failure of industrial sponsorship to respond to this huge global promotion but it's important in order to be able to put the thank-you's in context.

As you know we left UK on time with 80% of an already very tightly chopped budget so financial difficulties out here were a certainty. We have managed to tighten expenditure on accommodation by renting houses and buying mattresses - and creating a feeding system which minimises the coffee-shop costs. In addition we have sold a large volume of merchandise locally - the merchandise stock being underwritten by our old friend Tom Reviglio of Western Nevada. Donny Lawson of Empire Stores has bought bulk gas (petrol) for us - and so the huge catalogue of local support goes on.

We are under strong and accurate financial control - and with ThrustSSC at Mach 0.98 we are on the edge of a huge success. But the weather is now the problem, and we have to sit here until we get the clear opportunity and then go for it!!

All this costs money and my program tells me that we are likely to run out next Tuesday. HeavyLift are planning the Antonov flight right now, so that we can finish and quickly return to the UK without spending more money that we haven't got.

Help is coming - Rolls-Royce have very kindly sent a donation, TI Group Board has sent a donation, Microcadam, Flupac and Gould Alloys have sent money - and then there's little Max Stern (5) who has birthday on November 13th and is sending his savings (I understand that Dad is going to assure his solvency!).

And then there's Carbon Colin - alias Colin Hill - who read about our difficulties on the Isle of Man, consulted his labrador dogs and flew out with two friends. He funded two days of operations and thank God was able to see ThrustSSC at 700mph.

And again there is a huge response on the Internet, which is pure magic. There is also a special thanks to those people who sent money and requested anonymity. As soon as we get back, I am going to write to everyone.

All this gives us a chance - the chance to stay here to finish the job. The chance to run ThrustSSC three or four more times. The chance to see once again the huge 300ft transonic shockwaves. The chance to finish 6 years work. The chance to achieve the first ever supersonic World Land Speed Record.

Many, Many Thanks.

Richard Noble

The author of this article, Richard_Noble, is the ThrustSSC's Project Leader and held the World Land Speed Record from 1983 to 1997.

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