Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Land Speed Record

Land speed record is a sport in which racers try to set fastest possible speeds on land, using any kind of vehicle. Runs are conducted on a course of a fixed distance. Speeds are recorded as an average of two passes, where drivers cover the full length of a course in one directions for the first pass, and within an hour, drive the same course in the opposite direction for the second pass. New speed records are accepted as valid only if they exceed the previous record by at least one percent.

The current outright Land Speed Record holder is ThrustSSC, a twin turbofan jet-powered vehicle, which achieved a top speed of 763.035 mph on a one mile course, in October 1997. The run was the first to achieve supersonic speed which was recorded at Mach 1.016 to break the sound barrier.

Besides the open category, where there are no restrictions on engine size or type, separate fastest speeds are recorded for vehicles of different classes. There is also a separate record for highest speeds achieved using motorcycles.

The fastest speed achieved with a motorcylcle is 376.363 mph (605.697 km/h) using a 2,600 cc twin Suzuki engine, on 25 September 2010.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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