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Essex rider sets new men's paced speed record of more than 174mph

Joseph Delves
19 Aug 2019

Still not as quick as Denise Mueller-Korenek, the team are aiming for 220mph next year. Photo: Mike Massaro

Neil Campbell has become the fastest man on wheels. This weekend the Essex-based rider tucked in behind a speeding Porsche Cayenne and piloted his custom-built steel bike to an eye-watering 174.339 mph. Claiming a new men’s and European record at the Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire, the attempt was almost derailed due to poor weather on Friday.

Further difficulties beset the challenge when Campbell was forced to ditch the safety parachute he’d intended to use to slow down when it began creating unexpected turbulence.

However, by Saturday morning things had been turned around, thanks in part to tweaks to the pace car and its fairing.

‘Records are difficult to break because they push the limits of human endeavour, teamwork and technology. We were certainly on the limit with all of these,’ explained the squad following their successful run.

‘Add in awful weather during Friday’s test day and we genuinely thought the target of 170mph would be beyond our reach. By 10am on Saturday we managed to change our circumstances and the virtual aerodynamic modelling we had applied and the new pace car from Porsche gave us the chance to break the record held previously for 24 years’.

Quick as Cambell’s ride may have been, it still lags behind the time of former road racer Denise Mueller-Korenek, who currently holds the overall world record for paced bicycle land speed.

Standing at 183.932mph and set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA going after this is Campbell’s next aim.

Having to fit the project around work as an architect, he hopes to reach 220mph next year on the same track where Mueller-Korenek set the overall record in 2018.

Made up of Reynolds 953 tubing and donor parts from a KTM motocross bike, you can read about the bike Cambell rode in the summer edition of Cyclist Magazine and on in the near future.

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