Students set sights on land speed world record

A team of Engineering students from the University of Liverpool have announced their intention to break the world land speed record for a human-powered vehicle later this year. With their aerodynamic bike ARION2 – built as part of a two-year degree project – the students will attempt to break the current world record of 83.13 miles per hour this September.

Following the students’ success in breaking the men’s British land speed record of 75.6mph with ARION1 last year, the University of Liverpool Velocipede (ULV) Team will race in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge 2016 in Battle Mountain, Nevada in September. They will be attempting the land speed record for both female and male single riders.

Several technological improvements have been made to the ARION2 bike since its predecessor set the British land speed record last year. These include updated aerodynamics, reduced weight, changes to the steering mechanisms and transmission, and a move to front-wheel drive.

Taking part in the endeavour are a team of 15 Engineering students, two sports academics from Hope University, and four cyclists: two male and two female. One member of the returning male team, Ken Buckley and Dave Collins, will be attempting the male record of 86.63 mph, and one of two new additions, Yasmin Tredell and Jordan O’Mara, will be attempting the female record of 75.69 mph.

The University of Liverpool Velocipede (ULV) Team is sponsored by Rathbone Investment Management and supported by Friends of the University of Liverpool.

Rob McKenzie, ARION2 Team leader commented: “The ULV Team has once again set out to take part in this incredibly ambitious project to break the land speed record in a human powered vehicle. We have been working on a new design for the past 12 months – completely going back to the drawing board in the process – to produce the fastest vehicle possible. Rathbones’ continued sponsorship of the project this year has allowed us to bring our designs to reality and attend this record attempt, and I am extremely confident that we will have some great results this September!”

Brian Kenny, Regional Director, Rathbone Investment Management, commented: “Liverpool is Rathbones’ home city. The Rathbones family were closely involved with the foundation of the university so we are delighted to continue our support of this great institution by sponsoring the Velocipede Team for a second year.

“The ARION project and the students’ ambition is a triumph of British education, industry and sport. As investment managers, we’re committed to investing in future technology and innovation, so it is therefore a privilege for us to support the team in their goal of breaking the world record and nurture the development of such cutting-edge engineering. We wish them luck and look forward to watching the race.”


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