You might be more familiar with actor Idris Elba being the star of acclaimed series like Luther and subsequently starring in Hollywood films like Prometheus rather than speeding around the track in exotic fast cars, but like so many actors and musicians, he has a passion for the automobile and adventure.

Elba has just added his name into the record books by breaking the 88 year old Flying Mile record in a Bentley. The Flying Mile involves the all-out adrenalin rush of travelling flat-out for exactly one measured mile.

idris elba breaks flying mile record pendine sands

The long-standing record has remained in place since 1927 when the legendary Sir Malcolm Campbell achieved the record in his equally legendary Napier-Campbell Bluebird, reaching speeds of 174.8 mph.

No roads were long and smooth enough or straight enough in the UK to safely allow the Flying Mile record attempt back in 1927, so in homage to Campbell, Elba used the exact same flat 7-mile long beach in Wales – Pendine Sands – that Bluebird roared to success on all those years ago.

malcolm campbell bluebird

The record took place as part of filming for a new 4-part TV show that Elba is making for Discovery Channel, called Idris Elba: No Limits and the Hollywood star reached speeds of 180.361mph with the whole event being officially verified by the UK Timing Association.

idris elba breaks flying mile record

Elba said that in the series he would be taking on some of the “toughest racing challenges of my life” and that he was “absolutely elated to have broken the Flying Mile.”

Pendine Sands has also seen some fatalities during record attempts in the past, so even with the modern safety technology that goes into even the most basic of modern cars, let alone this state-of-the-art Bentley, this was a very serious undertaking for Idris Elba and a fine achievement.

malcolm campbell bluebird pendine sands

Let’s not ever forget what Campbell achieved though; his amazing record stood for not all that far off 100 years and was achieved at a time when car safety was in its infancy (to say the least) and a car travelling at 17mph, let alone 174.8mph might be considered an achievement! In fact, Bluebird reached a top speed of 195mph at Pendine Sands, but the 2-way average speed was recorded at 174.8mph.

bentley continental gt speed flying mile

The car Elba used to break Campbell’s record was a 6-litre, twin-turbo W12-engined Bentley Continental GT Speed, pushing out 635PS. The GT Speed can manage 0-60mph in just 4 seconds with a top speed of 206mph. You can see this fine car in the 4-part series, Idris Elba: No Limits, in the UK in July.


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