Uckfield motorbike designer’s dragster breaks UK speed record

A MOTORCYCLE designer was left ‘shaking’ with excitement after seeing his vehicle break a UK speed record.

Thrilled Phil Edwards from Uckfield roared over to the Santa Pod Raceway to watch his dragster driven by development rider, Rob Moon, smash the current UK record in its first outing – and with subsequent runs, fine tuning saw the electric motorcycle get even faster.

The new UK record set by Phil’s bike on the standing start quarter-mile run in the Alternative Energy Racing event is 14.1245 seconds. The previous record was 14.99 seconds.

Phil, 47 from Olives Meadow, said: “I am delighted to have broken the record, meeting the target I set myself a year ago. I have learned a huge amount in the process and look forward to pressing on with other projects.”

The dragster reached speeds of 96.5mph – the top speed of the previous record holder was 92.8mph.

Phil’s family were out in force to share in the excitement of the day. Wife Sue and teenagers Ben and Lucie have all supported him through the year of development.

Sue said: “In my heart I knew Phil would do it but there have been anxious times because our savings were invested in the project.

“It has been very exciting to see interest in the dragster build up over the year and to see new projects coming in.”

Since his achievement messages of congratulation have poured in. Wealden MP and energy minister Charles Hendry, who visited Phil as he was preparing the bike for the event, said: “I am delighted Phil has set a new UK speed record with his electric motorcycle. This shows the great potential of electric vehicles, not just in reducing carbon emissions but in terms of performance as well.”

Uckfield Mayor Cllr John Carvey said: “To design a bike that goes really well is something but to break a speed record in addition is fantastic.

“Uckfield will be very proud of this and rightly so. Many who had not heard of Uckfield will do so now.

“There are huge benefits to the world in developing electric power machines and Phil’s contribution has to be right up with the leaders.”

Phil will now be turning his attention to helping bring a new electric recreational motorcycle to market.

He is also working on an electric speedway bike and an electric track bike.

And the dragster? Phil is negotiating with a leading university which is interested in taking it on and developing it further.