New owner of land speed record - Eddie did it!
Manawatu provided the perfect weather for an Aucklander to break two 16-year-old land-speed records over the weekend.
First, Eddie Freeman set the New Zealand land-speed record on Saturday afternoon when he hit 355.485kmh at Ohakea Air Force Base.
He beat the previous record of 348.23kmh, which was set in 1996 by Owen Evans.
Then he changed out the aviation fuel he was using for standard petrol, and took on the road registered record.
He blasted that out of the water, hitting 335kmh and cleaving 19kmh off the previous record which was also set in 1996, but by Ray Williams.
Freeman took to the runway in a Lamborghini Superleggera worth more than $450,000.
While he could have made either attempt on Sunday, the weather forecast added an extra sense of urgency to try to nail them both on Saturday.
After taking out the second record, Freeman said he felt relieved that two years of planning had worked.
"It's been a long time in the making, so now there's a little bit of relief and satisfaction that the car and me are both in one piece."
He said being out there all day was the hardest part.
Despite not hitting the high 300s he wanted, Freeman said he was happy.
"The simple fact is the car won't go much faster.
"The risk is greater than the reward.
"We could muck around all day and make an average of 360 or 370, but I'll call it a day and take the win."
To get the records, Mr Freeman had to register an average speed over two runs - one into the wind, the other against.
The overall record did not come easily, with turbo hoses blowing off during some runs and the car getting close to overheating.
He said he was being impatient during his first few runs to try to break the record, causing the car to underperform.
"The ice [used to cool the air heading into the turbos] melted on the first run, so I had hot air heading into the turbo. I just calmed down, did the first run, brought it back to ice it up again.
"I knew if I had clean air it would make the difference. I knew as long as the turbo was clean that I would get the speed."