British Land Speed Record


Thule and The Prime Time Land Speed Team met in 1992 when the team were attempting their first ever land speed record. Since then, the team have gone onto smash Richard Noble’s 1983 land speed record in a jet powered car and are now the official British Land Speed Record Holders. Thule sponsored the land speed team with an exclusive clothing deal.

The two drivers, Mark Newby and Colin Fallows have been working together for over ten years. They met through the drag racing circuit. “When Richard Noble announced that he was looking for drivers for Thrust, I wanted to apply,” says Mark, who was also an accomplished pilot. “I thought I’d better hook up with someone who knew his stuff about engineering and that’s how I met Colin.”

Mark was short listed for the Thrust SSC but then decided to apply himself to his own speed records. Colin is an extremely adept ex-RAF propulsion technician, with a great knowledge of jet engines. The pair teamed up with the goal of beating Richard Noble’s long-standing 258mph UK record with their jet cars – Vampire and Split Second.

Split Second, driven by Mark Newby is capable of over 370mph and is powered by a recent model Rolls Royce Viper engine. Mark and Split Second hold the Standing Start Record for ¼ mile and 500m.

After defeating obstacles which included bird strikes through their jet engines, larks smashing the windscreen, and icy temperatures drawing the protective grilles directly into the path of the jet rotors, the team succeeded in achieving 269mph at Elvington airfield, near York, in the summer of 1999. In 2000, they beat 300mph after a tense struggle which saw Mark, in Split Second, hold the record at 272.93mph for a period of less than two hours. Colin’s second – and supposedly final – run had been so close to the 300mph threshold that the pair decided to run Vampire again – to come out with an average 300.3 mph.

About the Team

Colin Fallows, Mark Newby and Peter Barker, Thule Marketing Manager with the car Split Second.

Driver Mark Newby is a qualified pilot with air racing and aerobatics experience as well a drag racer of some repute. He began working with team partner Colin Fallows after being short-listed to drive Richard Noble's Thrust SSC. He lives near Oxford with his wife Wendy and their ten-year-old son Lee.

Colin Fallows is one of the UK's most experienced drag racers and pioneer of UK jet car technology. The ex-RAF jet propulsion technician designed and built the UK Record Holding afterburning jet dragsters Split Second and Vampire. Colin lives in Northampton with his wife, Jan. He's a grandfather of four.

The Cars

Vampire is driven by Colin Fallows and weighs 2,200 lbs. The car is 30 feet long and drinks 7-10 gallons per mile of fuel. It accelerates at 0-272 in six seconds and is powered by a Rolls Royce Orpheus jet engine. The car is theoretically capable of 370mph. Colin and Vampire hold the Outright British Land Speed Record of 300.3mph.

Split Second is driven by Mark Newby and is lighter than Vampire at 1500 lbs. It’s 33 feet long, and also uses 7-10 gallons per mile of fuel. Split Second can accelerate to 300mph in six seconds, and is powered by a recent model Rolls Royce Viper engine. In the correct conditions, Split Second could be capable of over 370 mph. Mark and Split Second hold the Standing Start Record for ¼ mile and 500m.

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