Blog: Dave LeggettCaterham Seven

Dave Leggett | 30 July 2003

The small independent British sports car maker, Caterham, is celebrating a new world record. The Surrey based firm’s flagship Superlight R500 road car has broken its own world record for speeding from a standing start to 100mph and then breaking back to zero again in a time of just 11.25 seconds. This compares to its 11.44 seconds performance in 2002, and the previous best time of 11.5 seconds set by the £750,000 McLaren F1 LM sportscar in 1999. In the record breaking run, which required perfect gear change and weather conditions, the Caterham got from 0 to 60mph in 3.47 seconds, up to 100mph in 7.26 seconds and then came to an abrupt halt less than four seconds later. Sounds like quite a ride. The Caterham gives you a lot of speed for your money.

If I had the money to indulge in such toys, I'd like a Caterham. I took one out on public roads on a test day once. I had to have a professional driver with me and I thought I was doing okay (though controlling the clutch pedal wasn't easy from a near horizontal driving position). Then I swapped places with the pro driver, who really knew what he was doing. I thought we were going to lose it on some of the bends and I could see us becoming wrapped around a tree. I could also hear myself making involuntary screaming noises. The driver was enjoying himself though. When the terrifying ride was over, I could hardly get out of the car as my knees were shaking so much; I just did not know whether to thank the guy or hit him. I composed myself and thanked him of course. The shaking wuss then sloped off for a much needed cup of tea.


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