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Family record attempt for Bluebird

The grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell is hoping to smash the UK electric land speed record.

Don Wales, 50, and his Bluebird team will try this weekend to break the 137mph barrier, which Wales set in 2000.

Wales is hoping to reach a speed in excess of 150mph when he races at Pendine Sands, in Carmarthenshire, South Wales.

He comes from an illustrious line of speedsters, with his grandfather and uncle Donald Campbell holding world speed records on both land and water.

However, Wales now faces a challenge from his own teenage son Joe, who will also be racing the battery-powered vehicle. The 19-year-old becomes the fourth generation of the Campbell family to pursue record-breaking when he drives Bluebird Electric to attempt the quarter-mile and 500-metre UK speed records.

The South Wales location has seen plenty of attempts on UK records in the past, including Sir Malcolm in 1924 when he set a then-fastest speed in a combustion engine of 146mph.

The Bluebird team is hoping to use this weekend's trials to test the technology behind the super-fast car and to build a new electric vehicle for an attempt on the world speed record in two years' time.

They want to hit 500mph and pass the 307mph record set by the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 team last year, a feat that would also beat the wheel-driven record, which stands from 2001 at 458mph.

Don Wales, speaking at BAE Systems' airfield at Filton, Bristol, as the team carried out final checks ahead of this weekend, said: "Ten years ago we set a UK record of 137mph at Pendine Sands and we are going back there this weekend to hopefully increase that speed to somewhere around 150mph or 160mph. This really is the start of a two or three-year campaign with a target of 500mph."

Mr Wales's son Joe said: "We'll see how it goes. I might try and go for the outright speed and I'll have a crack at it. I am very proud to be representing my family and their heritage. Hopefully, this is the start of a world record car."

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