The next phase of the journey was to fit the monopropellant rocket to the car and make an attempt at breaking the outright land speed record.
All data pointed to the conclusion that the rocket would take the Bloodhound LSR car clear of the 140mph or so gap it needed to clear in order to claim the record belonging to Thrust SSC.
But initial conversations with potential sponsors fell through, and despite a documentary running at the tail-end of 2020 reviving some interest, no concrete deals were forthcoming.
“There was progress, we were in talks with people and they started to pick up at around February last year,” says Warhurst.
“Just as we’ve got a few balls juggling in the air, the entire sponsorship industry shut down and nothing happened.
“After the documentary came out there was certainly one company that we were talking to that was very very interested. Had we known that funding was in place and that we were going next year, then they would’ve come on board and it would’ve been quite a significant deal.
“Current circumstances mean nobody is prepared to commit, which you can appreciate to be honest, but we’re running out of time.”
“If someone wants to come along and buy the whole thing then that’s fine, but only if you fund it and take it to the next step”
Warhurst arrived on the scene to save Bloodhound in what was a last-gasp moment. His takeover gave him ownership of the car and project as a whole. The original goal of the Bloodhound, when announced in 2008, was to reach 1000mph. That has since been scaled back to achieving the land speed record, still not a minor feat in any sense.
But as things stand, Warhurst and the Bloodhound team will fall short of that target after successful trials and the 768mph benchmark will remain with Thrust SSC.
Focus is now on creating the right environment where a sale can be facilitated and the project can go on despite Warhurst’s ambition of seeing things through to the end.
“I came along last minute and everyone was surprised that I took it on. We’re trying to recreate that situation with the car for sale that you can buy it if you want it. It is a bit of a last roll of the dice to be fair.