Forty years after Jean-Claude Rude slipstreamed a Porsche 935 Turbo, a man on a weird-looking bicycle and a Porsche Cayenne Turbo made their way to Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire to see how fast they could go.
The man, Neil Campbell, had previously set a personal record back in June when he hit 135 mph (217 km/h). His bicycle, custom-built by Moss Bikes, was designed to be stable at speeds of up to 200 mph (322 km/h). While Campbell didn’t go that fast, he did manage to get up to 149 mph (240 km/h).
Helping him get there was a 2018 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, deemed an ideal partner due to its size and its ability to accelerate very quickly in a straight line. The Cayenne had to be fitted with a rig so as to provide an aerodynamic cocoon for the bike and the rider.
Powered by a 4.0-liter biturbo V8, the Cayenne Turbo puts down 550 PS (542 HP) and 770 Nm (568 lb-ft) of torque, needing just 4.1 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill, or just 3.9 seconds if you opt for the Sport Chrono Package.
When the SUV hit 110 mph (177 km/h), Campbell disengaged his bicycle and accelerated behind it using just pedal power. Once he passed through the speed trap and hit 149 mph (240 km/h), he had to brake as hard as he could before reaching the end of the runway.
“We’ve got so little space that it was essential that we got up to speed as quickly as possible,” said Campbell. “The acceleration of the Cayenne was incredible – it was like being strapped to a rocket. I was pedalling throughout, harder and harder, before I released from the car at just over 100 mph and got my head down and gave it all I could.”
“All the time the Cayenne was right ahead of me, clearing the air – it was so stable. I look back on the pictures and think ‘what was I thinking’ ,but I was focused I didn’t really take it all in. It’s an incredible feeling – to get 149 mph on such a short runway is beyond anything I expected. We’re within touching distance of the world record. I can’t thank my team and supporters enough for the help and confidence they’ve given me.”