The eventual target may be 300mph, but the JCB Dieselmax team has broken the 200mph barrier as it prepares to break the World Diesel Land Speed Record.

The current record stands at 235mph, and that target is now within sight. The target speed of 300mph now also seems a realistic possibility after the wheeled yellow phallus clocked 201mph, and smashed 180mph in seven other practise runs at RAF Wittering near Peterborough.

Driver Andy Green, who in 1997 broke the overall land speed record in the mammoth ThrustSSC and clocked a speed-of-sound busting 763mph, said: "Exceeding 200mph really shows the potential of the car to break the record. Combined, the engines have twice the power of a Formula 1 car and it's remarkably easy to drive. It steers very well, the brakes work smoothly and the chassis is extremely stiff. That gives you the confidence you need when accelerating to very high speeds and then coming to a stop in a limited space.

Project director Dr Tim Leverton added: “I am really proud that we have exceeded 200mph at this stage of development, and now we can be more confident about achieving our target of 300mph. The car is a testament to the very best of British engineering".

UK testing is now finished and the team will flies out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this week, where it is hoped the Dieselmax will break the record.

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