A Burnham-On-Sea motor engineer has spoken of his pride at helping to set a new world speed record at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Jem Hand, pictured, is a founding member, chief mechanic and a development driver at McMurtry Automotive.

Before last weekend, McMurtry Automotive was a relative unknown. But the startup firm has burst into the spotlight by setting a new record for the quickest run along the famed hill-climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

With former IndyCar and Formula 1 driver Max Chilton behind the wheel, the company’s first vehicle, called the Spéirling, blitzed the 1.16-mile course in 39.08 seconds, displacing the electric Volkswagen I.D. R as the outright record holder.

Jem told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We were founded in 2016 and we unveiled our electric race car last year at Goodwood with the aim of setting a new world record this year.”

“The team and I headed there last weekend where we broke the 23-year-old Goodwood Hillclimb record by 2.52 seconds – a huge margin!”

Two key factors helped it set such a quick lap time this year, he says. The car’s diminutive size and two fans that suck the McMurtry to the road.

The real power lies in the Spéirling’s two electric turbines that sit behind the cockpit. These fans slurp air from beneath the car and spit it out of central rear exhaust vents to provide about 4400 pounds of downforce at a standstill.

Jem adds: “It was an unbelievable day – such a memorable time for us all!”

He adds that the team are now working on their next steps: “We built the car to set new records and now our aim is to go into production with a road-going version of our race car.”

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