Drayson breaks FIA World Electric Land Speed Record

Driving an adapted Le Mans car Lord Paul Drayson recorded a top speed of 204.2mph (328.6km/h), setting a new World Record.

Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire, England has a remarkable history but the future was of more interest to the Drayson Racing Technologies team that set a new FIA World Electric Land Speed Record on Tuesday 25th June.

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable.”
Lord Paul Drayson

Putting Elvington’s 3000m runway to effective use, team owner/driver Lord Paul Drayson broke the recordfor electric vehicles in the sub-1000kg class, using the team’s much-adapted Lola B12 69/EV Le Mans Prototype. Not originally conceived as a land-speed record car, the much-travelled Drayson Lola has competed around the world in endurance racing, operating as a bio-fuel showcase, powered by a Judd V10. It was subsequently adapted to run on battery power and configured for low-drag in preparation for this attempt.

Over the two recorded runs, Drayson smashed the existing record, which had stood at 174mph (280km/h) since 1974. The attempt is now subject to FIA homologation, this process being standard practice before any official land speed records may be awarded. 

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable,” he said after capturing the record. “Drayson Racing is a laboratory for EV technology, testing it to the most extreme level, as we’ve seen today. It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile.”

Previously Minister of Science in the United Kingdom, since leaving office Drayson’s energies have been channelled into developing his racing business, with a particular emphasis on green technologies. His was the first team to sign up for 2014’s inaugural FIA Formula E Championship.  

The team remains at Elvington, aiming to set more electric records.