Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Great Yarmouth to stage new car festival September 12 and 13

The Bloodhound SSC Showcar - photo Stefan Margoram
A full-sized replica of a supersonic car designed to smash the world land speed record will be the highlight of a major new car festival at Great Yarmouth seafront in Norfolk UK, on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.

The GY Wheels Festival will give visitors to Marine Parade the chance to view scores of prestige and novelty cars, as well as try their hands at fun educational activities, from 10am to 5pm on both days. 

The star attraction will be the official full-sized replica of Bloodhound SSC, a British-built jet-and rocket-powered car, designed to go at 1,000mph, which will attempt to smash the world land speed record.

Jointly organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), with additional funding from Joyland and the American Diner, the free festival aims to further extend the tourism season and support the local economy.

Great Yarmouth is the only location in East Anglia, which the Bloodhound Roadshow will be visiting, before the team heads to Hakskeen Pan, South Africa in summer 2016, with the aim of first setting a new world record of 800mph and then looking to take it to 1,000mph.

The Bloodhound Roadshow will have a marquee on Anchor Plaza, featuring the official showcar, a test drive simulator, and a fun activity enabling young people to make and race compressed air-powered K’Nex cars. Also at Anchor Plaza will be displays of a dragster from Santa Pod Raceway.

Meanwhile, at Britannia Plaza, people will be able to see the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, the Inbetweeners car, Barbie’s car, a Hummer, limousines and the Bloodhound support vehicles. More vehicles will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Autobahn Stormers Club will be showing off their Lotus Carltons on Anchor Gardens, where young people will also be able to design their own rocket cars in blocks of Styrofoam as part of an educational workshop. 

These cars will be cut out in front of their eyes by a Bloodhound expert, will have a rocket motor attached and then be raced along a 30-metre track. The young person with the fastest car will win a VIP day pass to Joyland, plus a burger meal for four at the American Diner.

Also at the festival will be model vehicles from the Lowestoft Mechanical Engineering Exhibition (LOWMEX), plus an information stand from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEMNET).

Peter Harrison, the lead Bloodhound ambassador for the East of England, said: “Bloodhound SSC is not just about smashing the world record but also about inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, encouraging young people to choose to study science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Great Yarmouth, as a hugely popular family resort, is therefore the ideal location – and the GY Wheels Festival will ensure that even more people can enjoy the unique Bloodhound experience.”

Cllr Barry Coleman, the borough council’s deputy leader, whose portfolio includes tourism, said: “The borough council is delighted to be working with partners to stage this free festival, which aims to provide yet another reason to visit the borough later in the season and thereby support the local economy.

“The GY Wheels Festival is a great addition to our growing calendar of festivals. We know from other car festivals around the UK, and the popularity of shows like Top Gear, that cars have a very wide appeal."

“We already have a great line-up, with more vehicular attractions still to be announced, and it has been a major coup to secure the official replica of Bloodhound SSC – a name which everyone will hear a lot more of in the coming months.”

David Marsh, chairman of the GYTABIA, said: “This is a fantastic new festival which will continue to grow over the next five years of the BID, helping to bring extra people into the borough to support local businesses.”

Michael Cole, of Joyland and the American Diner, said: “I have been following this project for a number of years and am delighted that the Bloodhound SSC showcar is to be the star attraction at this year’s GY Wheels Festival next to Joyland."

“It will give everyone a unique opportunity to see this fantastic piece of British engineering and maybe inspire schoolchildren into an engineering career.”

Bloodhound SSC is a jet and rocket-powered car designed to reach 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph) and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. It has a slender body of approximately 13.4m length with two front wheels within the body and two rear wheels mounted externally within wheel fairings. It weighs 7.5 tonnes and the engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower - more than six times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together. The car is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front half being a carbon fibre monocoque like a racing car and the back half being a metallic framework and panels like an aircraft. For more information see