Idris Elba just shattered an 88-year-old land speed record in a 2.5-ton Bentley

Bentleys have a history of setting records. 88 years ago it was the Napier Campbell Blue Bird, a modified Bentley, that set a UK land speed record of 174.8 mph with Sir Malcolm Campbell at the wheel. In 2011, it was a Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible that hit 205 mph on ice, piloted by Juha Kankkunen.

And that brings us to today, where actor Idris Elba, known for his roles in Luther, The Wire, and Pacific Rim has taken the helm of a Bentley Continental GT Speed and set a new record in the ‘Flying Mile’, 180.36 mph. The record was set on the beach of Pendine Sands in Wales and the UK Timing Association was there to document the run.

Elba set the record while filming a Discovery Channel miniseries entitled “Idris Elba: No Limits,” scheduled to air in July.

“I’m absolutely elated to have broken the ‘Flying Mile’ at Pendine Sands,” Elba said. “It’s an honor to have taken on the challenge, and to successfully follow in the footsteps of the illustrious Sir Malcolm Campbell.”

180 mph may not sound like much, but keep in mind, the run was made on a beach, which isn’t exactly a traction-rich setting. In fact, the Continental GT Speed, with all 626 horsepower at its disposal tops out at 206 mph under the right conditions. When weather doesn’t want to play along, the Bentley’s 5,115 pounds can be too much for even that huge W12 engine to muscle to higher speeds.

It looks like the only thing left for ol’ “no limits” Elba would be to set the overall land speed record, held by Andy Green in the ThrustSSC. To do that, he might need something a bit more aerodynamic than a Bentley, but how hard can surpassing 760 mph be?

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