Cyclist slipstreams Cayenne for 149mph speed record

A British cyclist has set a new speed record using pedal power and a Cayenne Turbo…

Forty years ago Jean-Claude Rude cycled behind a Porsche 935 Turbo during a speed record attempt, he created in the process an iconic set of black and white images. Now a British cyclist has mimicked the stunt riding a bicycle to a new European record of 149mph in the slipstream of a Cayenne Turbo.

The new speed record took place at the two-mile long Elvington Airfield runway in Yorkshire, cyclist Neil Campbell tucked into the slipstream of the Cayenne Turbo to beat his own record of 135mph which he set in June. Campbell used two specialist bicycles for the attempt created by Moss Bikes, the machines were built using carbon fibre and 3D printed parts – they featured a long wheelbase and highly rated tyres to allow them to travel at speeds of up to 200mph. The 550hp Cayenne Turbo used for the record attempt has a top speed of 177mph, it was fitted with a special rig mounted to its rear end which was used to disrupt the flow of air providing an aerodynamic cocoon for Campbell and his bike. British drag racing champion Andy Frost, best known for his 4,000hp ‘Red Victor’, drove the Cayenne. Frost kept in contact with Campbell throughout the various record runs, which took place as part of the Straightliners Event using certified timing equipment.

A British cyclist has set a new speed record using pedal power and a Cayenne Turbo…

A British cyclist has set a new speed record using pedal power and a Cayenne Turbo

On the final run of the day, the two machines accelerated, the bicycle was towed behind the car until they reached just over 110mph, at which point Campbell disengaged from the car and accelerated through pedal power to push himself up to 149mph. Having passed through the speed traps, Campbell had to brake as hard as he could before he reached the end of the runway.

Campbell’s focus now turns to bettering the outright World Record. Campbell commented: “We’ve got so little space that it was essential that we got up to speed as quickly as possible. The acceleration of the Cayenne was incredible – it was like being strapped to a rocket. I was pedalling throughout, harder and harder, before I released from the car at just over 100mph and got my head down and gave it all I could. All the time the Cayenne was right ahead of me, clearing the air – it was so stable. I look back on the pictures and think ‘what was I thinking’ but I was focused I didn’t really take it all in. It’s an incredible feeling – to get 149mph on such a short runway is beyond anything I expected. We’re within touching distance of the World Record. I can’t thank my team and supporters enough for the help and confidence they’ve given me.”

Rude’s original attempt to reach 150mph on a bicycle in August 1978 (above) took place on a private test track in Germany, he rode behind a modified 800hp 935 Turbo driven by Henri Pescarolo – the attempt was aborted when Rude’s bicycle picked up a puncture mid-run. Sadly Rude died in an accident the following year so the attempt was never repeated.

A British cyclist has set a new speed record using pedal power and a Cayenne Turbo…

Campbell’s attempt drew comparisons with Rude’s run behind a 935 (right)

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