The Bloodhound land speed record project has announced that Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) will be its prime sponsor and 'Official Automotive Partner' in a 3-year agreement.

Geely's involvement will also extend to providing technical as well as financial support to the project and promote it through Asia.

The deal, signed in August, is the largest in the history of the project and means plans for challenging the World Land Speed Record in 2017 are "now back on track", according to Bloodhound.

Bloodhound SSC is a British supersonic land vehicle in development. Its goal is to match or exceed 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h) achieving a new world land speed record.The car, powered by a jet engine and a rocket engine is designed to reach 1,050 miles per hour (1,690 km/h).It is being developed and built with the intention of breaking the land speed record by 33%, the largest ever margin – currently an attempt is planned for October 2017 in South Africa.

The project also entails visits to schools with the objective to interest children in engineering and sciences. The 'Model Rocket Car Challenge' is now rolling out across 5,500 UK schools and 10 countries while the UK's Great Campaign, an official partner to the Project, uses Bloodhound to promote UK skills worldwide.

Geely Auto has four international research and design centres, employs close to 10,000 engineers worldwide and has also established universities, further education colleges and technology schools across China.

Geely joins a raft of international organisations supporting the project including Rolls-Royce, Castrol, Rolex, Parker Hannifin, Atlas Copco, STP, Lockheed Martin, Nammo, Thyssen Krupp and Otto Fuchs.  Jaguar continues in its role as technical partner to the Project and its V8 engine will remain the Auxiliary Power Unit used to power the oxidiser pump for the Bloodhound's hybrid rocket.

The partnership will see Geely Auto technology being used within Bloodhound SSC; Geely Group vehicles being used in South Africa throughout record campaigns; design and engineering support being provided, where required, to help the project achieve its goals; promotion of Bloodhound across Asia.

Bloodhound Project Director, Richard Noble, said: "We could not have a better partner than Geely: not only are they an international technology company with tremendous vision and capability, they share our passion for innovation and education.  Their support, both technical and financial, means we can now plan next year's record-breaking challenge with confidence."

Li Shufu, Chairman, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said: "We are proud and excited to be part of this extraordinary team. Geely shares the same challenging spirit and passion for pushing technological barriers as the Bloodhound Project.

"Since day one we have been committed to breaking technology barriers at Geely and working with Project Bloodhound will help further our mutual technology breakthrough to an international audience. It also means we can tell millions of young people, in China and around the world, about the opportunities presented by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  That is what makes this 'Engineering Adventure' so special and why we wanted to be part of it."