WASHINGTON (TIP): An ultra-light electric car built by students at a US university has set a new land speed record in its class, besting the previous mark by nearly 80kmph. Electric Blue, an E1 streamliner designed and modified by more than 130 Brigham Young University (BYU) students over the past 10 years, averaged 330kmph on two qualifying runs this month. The new mark obliterates the previous record, 250kmph, which was set by the same BYU car in 2011.

“When we set the record three years ago we felt like we left a lot on the table,” said BYU student and team captain, Kelly Hales. “On paper we thought we could get 322kph but we never had the conditions just right – until now,” said Hales. The car notched the record this month in front of approximately 180 teams and their cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah. Jim Burkdoll, president of the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association, drove the car to set the record, which was certified by the Southern California Timing Association. Electric Blue is called a streamliner because it has a long, slender shape and enclosed wheels that reduce air resistance.

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