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Team takes on world speed record

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If you think your car insurance is high, imagine what it's like for a team of drivers trying to beat a speed record in a car powered by steam.

The British Steam Car team is attempting to beat a 103-year-old world land speed record in America this summer and has just completed its last public test launch before the attempt.

The 25ft-long car reached speeds of up to 60mph at the Ministry of Defence's Thorney Island facility in Hampshire.

Driver Don Wales said: "It was a really good test. The steering was good, the braking was good and the parachute worked really well. The car really did handle beautifully. As the car was building up steam, you could hear it gurgling and the steam was flowing."

The current record of 127mph is held by American Fred Marriott, who achieved it in a Stanley steam car in 1906. It is the longest officially-recognised land speed record but the British Steam Car team hope to reach a velocity of 170mph.

The record attempt will take place in a Californian desert in June.

© Press Association 2009