This incredibly powerful Porsche is looking to set a land speed record by being the fastest car on sand.
Madmax Race Team is a British racing team that has an extremely appropriate name. They made their mark by specializing in motorcycles with jet engines strapped to them, turning them into man-powered cruise missiles. Since then they’ve put jet engines on cars and even a go-kart.
Since the big land speed records are done in much larger and better-funded ventures, Madmax contents itself with going after slightly lower-hanging fruit. In 2018, they set a record for the fastest motorcycle on sand using a turbine-powered motorbike. In 2016, driver Zef Eisenberg set another record for fastest British motorcycle crash to survive, which was set at 230 mph.
We’re pretty sure that last one was an accident and not done on purpose, but a record is a record.
And now Mr. Eisenberg and Madmax are looking to set a sand speed record in a car to become the first British person to set two records in a single year.
On April 6, 2019, Madmax will head up to Pendine Sands in South Wales with a custom-built 2015 Porsche 911 Turbo S. The 3.8-L engine that it was born with has been replaced by a 4.2-L model from Porsche Motorsports and then given a pair of turbochargers for 1,200 crank hp. Madmax reports it to be around 1,000 hp at the rear wheels, which is a necessary figure given the less than ideal surface that sand provides.
Everything else has been strengthened in order to handle the now massive amounts of torque the engine provides. The engine runs on an E85 fuel mixture while the wheels and tires have been replaced by models specifically designed to handle high speeds on sand. Brakes and suspension have also been tuned to handle the specific surface.
On the inside, the car has been fitted with a roll cage and racing seats, but that’s about it. Lightening the load isn’t part of Madmax’s game plan, according to Eisenberg.
“Weight is actually your friend on sand,” said Eisenberg. “It’s about stability – putting enough weight on the tyres to increase traction. Even though, we have accidentally made the car 140kg [308 lbs] lighter than standard, we have no need to strip weight out.”
Hopefully we’ll see Zef and his incredible Porsche tackle the Welsh sands with nary a hitch.