Campbell's super


Your list of the 100 Greatest Drives (January 2002 issue) was fascinating reading. But I would like to point out h significant omission: Donald Campbell’s 1964 World Land Speed Record on Lake Eyre, Australia.

His performance there must rank as one of the most heroic in the history of record-breaking.

When Campbell surveyed Lake Eyre in 1962, it was hard as concrete. By the time he was ready, in ’63, rain had washed out his course. On his first run the car’s tyres tore 3-inch ruts along the measured mile course (Bluebird only had four inches of ground clearance). On his return run, the 10-mile track disintegrated at the third mile, but Campbell kept his foot to the floor, Bluebird’s 5000 bhp breaking traction on all four wheels, the salt shredding his tyres, the car’s belly scraping along the track. It was a remarkable feat. By rights he should have lost it; the fact he did not was down to raw courage, and enormous skill. Bluebird covered the last 666 yards of the measured distance at 429.5mph, and left the mile at over 440mph, still accelerating…

I am, Yours etc, Neil Sheppard, Via email