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A1GP New Zealand speeds its way into record books

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  A1 Grand Prix

A1GP New Zealand speeds its way into record books

January 6, 2007

Jonny Reid, co-driver for the A1GP New Zealand team, today made history by driving the fastest over the 48-year-old Auckland Harbour Bridge, New Zealand, legally.

Mr. Reid managed to drive the New Zealand's A1GP car, Black Beauty at speeds over 160km/h seven times over the bridge.  The New Zealand police had trouble using their speed radar guns to see how fast Mr Reid was going because of how low Black Beauty is, and the only time the police managed to clock Mr Reid was when he slowed down to 160km/h.

Black Beauty, like all the other A1 Grand Prix cars, is powered by a V8 engine, 3.4 litres and has a top speed of 300km/h.  During the record attempt, it managed to get to 160km/h from zero in under three seconds.

The stunt was to promote the upcoming A1GP sixth round at Taupo in a couple of weeks, which Mr. Reid will be racing because of his two wins at Indonesia, instead of other co-driver, Matt Halliday.

Mr. Reid performed the record on the clipon lanes of the bridge which were closed at Christmas because the lanes were being resurfaced.  The lanes will be open this Monday, January 8.

Mr. Reid said the surface at the top of the bridge hadn't been swept so it was quite slippery.  "It was mega slippery at the top but we always knew that would be the situation and it was just great to show the public a little bit of what we were about."  However he also said that "It was fully under control."

Mr. Reid said the buzz from doing that, especially with the help from police, was huge.  "I absolutely thrived on it.  It was a very unique experience which you don't come across every day.  It was mega, it really was."

Mr. Reid assures everyone that the speeds he will be reaching in Taupo will be much, much faster than what he achieved today.

Once Mr Reid had finished crossing the bridge seven times, he finished with a few doughnuts.

Two cars were involved in a nose to tail crash on one of the northbound lanes trying to watch the action.

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