JOHANNESBURG — Toiling with shovels, wheelbarrows and bare hands, about 300 workers removed 6,000 tons of stones and other debris from a vast stretch of desert in a desolate corner of South Africa over the past two years. If all goes well, it will become the place where a British-led team tries to breaks the world land-speed record.
“It will be a brisk ride,” said Andy Green, the man who plans to break his own record in 2015, using a vehicle powered by rocket and warplane technology. His goal? Reaching 1,610 kilometers (1,000 miles) an hour.
The track of hard-packed earth at the Hakskeen Pan, tucked between Namibia and Botswana, is 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles) wide and 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) long. It could rival Black Rock Desert in Nevada, where Green clocked 1,228 kilometers (763 miles) an hour and broke the sound barrier in 1997, and the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah as the premier temple of speed in the world.