Zef Eisenberg Is Aiming For Over 200mph On Sand In His 1200bhp Porsche
Zef Eisenberg already holds speed records on two wheels, including the fastest motorbike on sand, and has survived Britain’s fastest-ever (230mph) motorcycle crash. Now he wants to become the first person to achieve a British land speed record on bike and car within a year, aiming to exceed 200mph on sand in a modified 1200hp road-legal Porsche 911 Turbo S. The plan is to attempt the record on the weekend of 6-7 April 2019 at Pendine Sands in South Wales, home to famous historic speed record attempts, including Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 174mph driving Bluebird in 1927.
Reasoning that his 2015 Porsche 911 Turbo S is capable of achieving 175mph in a mile on tarmac with its standard 550bhp, Eisenberg calculated that 750bhp would be needed for 200mph on tarmac within a mile. With the added resistance and tyre slip running on sand at least 1000bhp would be needed at the rear wheels, which equates to 1200bhp at the engine. Eisenberg’s MadMax race team have therefore hand-built a bespoke 4.2-litre Porsche Motorsport engine with new stronger internals, upgraded turbos, new E85 fuel system and upgraded cooling, with an emphasis on ensuring that the power comes in as smoothly as possible in order to limit wheelspin on the sand. The gearbox and clutch have been upgraded, and the brakes and suspension modified. Apart from a full FIA roll cage, competition seats and safety harness, the Porsche’s interior is standard.
“Weight is actually your friend on sand,” says Eisenberg, the founder of sports nutrition brand Maximuscle. “It’s about stability–putting enough weight on the tyres to increase traction. Even though we have accidentally made the car 140kg lighter than standard, we have no need to strip weight out. The car is actually road legal, so we will drive it from the hotel onto the beach and to the restaurant after, hopefully to celebrate. I’ve well and truly caught the speed addiction. Each run itself might only be between 25 and 40 seconds, but a new record is just the icing on the cake, after years of research and experimentation.”
In May 2018, Eisenberg reached 201.572mph on his supercharged road-legal Suzuki Hayabusa, becoming the fastest motorbike on sand in the world, just 20 months after the 230mph motorcycle crash that had resulted in three months in hospital, followed by another three months in a wheelchair. Since the crash, he’s also set numerous other records, including an ACU sanctioned flying quarter-mile, flying kilometre and flying mile, on the heavily-modified Hayabusa.
Images courtesy of the MadMax Race Team