On August 25th 2009 Don was lucky enough to be asked by team principle Charles Burnett iii to have a go for the record. ‘Either break the car or break the record’ he said! Bearing in mind that Charles had spent over 10 years and a considerable amount of money on this project. Charles had just broken the record at 139mph and very generously offered Don the chance to go faster.
Don originally had been invited to be the Test driver some two years previously. The team had spent 10 long hard weeks on Edwards Airforce base in California enduring a heat wave in the Mojave desert! The British Steam car ‘Inspiration’ proved to be an awkward car to run,but the steadfast British Team led by Technical Director Jerry Bliss and Project Manager Matt Candy were determined that the car and conditions would not beat them!
This is a story of supreme human effort by a small dedicated team which allowed Don to break the new record at 148.308mph. The 10 week story to Edwards Airforce base is full of highs and lows, brief success followed by bitter disappointment. The team never lost its sense of humour along the way. The record was broken with only one day left and was sweet reward for the hard work.