Actor Idris Elba breaks land-speed record

Hollywood star breaks 88-year-old British record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell

Published: May 12, 2015, 8:55 AM
Updated: November 23, 2021, 11:58 AM

Idris Elba breaks UK Flying Mile speed record

Actor Idris Elba, who played Nelson Mandela in the award-winning movie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, has broken the ‘Flying Mile’ UK land speed record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927.

The award-winning actor hit a top speed of 180.361 mph (290.262 km/h) at the wheel of a new Bentley Continental GT Speed on Pendine Sands, an 11-kilometre long beach  in south Wales, despite some challenging tidal conditions.

That run broke the existing record of 174.8 mph (281.3 km/h) set by Sir Malcolm nearly 90 years ago in his legendary Napier-Campbell Blue Bird. The record was independently verified by the UK Timing Association.

Elba, who also starred in the TV productions Luther and The Wire said: “I'm absolutely elated to have broken the 'Flying Mile' at Pendine Sands. It’s an honour to have taken on the challenge, and to successfully follow in the footsteps of the illustrious Sir Malcolm Campbell.”

The record was broken during filming for an upcoming four-part Discovery Channel series, Idris Elba: No Limits, which will air in July. The series is said to take Elba around the world on a trek to "indulge his adrenaline-fueled fantasies."

The production Bentley Continental GT Speed he drove to set the British land-speed record was powered by Bentley’s 6-litre twin-turbo W-12 engine, rated at 626 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a new ZF eight-speed close-ratio automatic transmission.

According to Bentley, the car can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 331 km/h (206 mph).