Sergeant Dean Hart smashed the land speed record driving a jet-powered dragster on the Ōhakea runway.

The record-breaking vehicle reached an average speed of 363.436 kilometres an hour (km/h) over a mile, beating the previous record of 355.485km/h on Saturday.

He stepped out of the dragster with a mile-wide smile and said when he finished the second run and jumped out of the vehicle, he felt the force of gravity which left him fatigued.

"I drank a lot of liquids," he said, which helped rebalance his body.

During the run Sergeant Hart reached a top speed of 458.2 km/h.

"Over 450km/., I'm happy," he said.

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Sergeant Dean Hart after he smashed the landspeed record at Ohakea March 7 2020.
Sergeant Dean Hart after he smashed the landspeed record at Ohakea March 7 2020.

"We've done it – not bad."

Sergeant Hart, an avionics technician at RNZAF Base Auckland attempted the record for the first time and said the record-setting drive was more difficult than the test runs.

"The car was wavering a little bit," he said, more so than in the test runs in which he reached higher speeds.

At the top speed his helmet started to lift from the front and he had to hold that down and steer with one hand.

"I was trying to keep it (dragster) straight and was losing visibility.

"It was a bit sketchy."

See also

He had to beat the flying km and flying mph records to take the Castrol Trophy.

The record-breaking dragster was 10 years in the build and powered by a Rolls Royce Viper 535 engine from a BAC Strikemaster aircraft which runs on aviation jet fuel.

Avionics technician Dean Hart gives the thumbs up ahead of his landspeed record attempt.
Avionics technician Dean Hart gives the thumbs up ahead of his landspeed record attempt.

He explained the dragster was built with the help of RNZAF technical trades at Whenuapai Motorsports Club over the past 10 years.

"The chassis is 30 years old and the motor 60 years.

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"It was a slow process piecing it together."

RNZAF Base Ohakea was an ideal location for the attempt because there was more than enough space to be able to crack the record, he said.

He paid special thanks to his team for their role in making the attempt successful.

Land speed record end of first run.
Land speed record end of first run.