Thrust SSC

Chapter 6 - Redesign, Rebuild, Regroup
Preparing For Jordan2, England, Winter and Spring 1996/7

With only 331mph under their belts after a 5-week stay in Jordan, fund-raising for another go would never be easy, but that would only be one obstacle. The rear-suspension needed redesigning to allow for a much greater range of changes in the geometry - that design would then need to be validated before the parts could be made and fitted. Target return date was set for the spring.

In addition to the work on the rear-wheel-steering there was a number of changes needed, and the bodywork required completing to full supersonic specification. Finally, the car was to be painted in the "supersonic black" that had always been intended for it, instead of running in the polished aluminium of what had become known as Jordan1.

Behind the scenes work continued as well - Mike Hearn and Brian Palmer took the Jaguar XJ-R Firechase to Gatwick airport for further fire-fighting training, while Driver Andy Green and Run Controller Jayne Millington flew back to Jordan to check out the drying desert. Their report was good: although all the white lines had been lost, not too much debris had been washed onto the tracks. Operations Manager Martyn Davidson and Richard Noble took a trip to the United States to meet the Spirit of America team and the Bureau of Land Management to organise the permits for the head-to-head in the fall.

By April the car was ready to run again, and before long ThrustSSC was once again making full-bloodied charges down Runway Two-Five at Farnborough. The Mach 1 Club continued their support of the project by organising and marshalling Press Day - but on the reheated demonstration run the left engine lit slightly before the right, and the resulting swing damaged the steering. Departure was delayed while the problem was repaired. Finally, in May, everything was ready - the team could continue their desert development.

For more information please read:

Daily Status Pages

The Daily Status Pages from Winter/Spring 1996/1997 are still available:

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