Guy Martin breaks Wall of Death record

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Millions of television viewers watched Guy Martin set a new Wall of Death world speed record on Easter Monday during a spectacular live broadcast on Channel Four.

The 34 year old blasted around the huge 37 metre diameter wall built of shipping containers in an ex-RAF hangar just a few miles from his Lincolnshire home at 78.150mph on a BSA engined bitsa that he built in his own workshop.

“I am really happy for everyone involved in this but the biggest thing for me is that I spent a year building that bike in the shed and it hasn’t given me any bother all week.” Guy said after the show.

Guy, his dad Ian and his long time mechanic, Cammy Whitworth fettled the vintage Rob North framed 750cc BSA triple that Guy chose to use it rather than an Indian Scout for the main record attempt. The man who has set new marks on bicycles, planes and toboggans in his popular TV series, Speed, had set himself the aim of breaking the 80mph barrier. After three runs in the final run, Guy fell just short when he started to black out because of the huge G forces he was experiencing.

Guy explained as he relaxed back stage with his dog, Nigel, following his record ride. “It is all to do with timing, when you get on the throttle because you can only stand that G force for so long.” he explained.

“I did over 80 this morning and tonight was 78.” In the first run of the second attempt I only did 71 and then I greyed out straight away. I came in and reset myself and did 78.” Guy was only supposed to do two runs but he decided to give it a third shot. “I thought if I go again I will go even better but it didn’t happen.” he admitted.

Watched by his family and friends alongside former F1 driver, David Coulthard and former TT rival, Steve Plater, the Lincolnshire man’s achievement was a moment of pure show business that saw motorbikes being beamed live on primetime television into millions of homes for over 100 minutes.

“You were funny, you were marvellous and we have had Tweets saying “I wish Guy Martin was my science teacher.” an ecstatic executive from Channel Four gushed to the Lincolnshire racer.

Having trained for over a year for the record attempt that had to be postponed when he broke his back at the Ulster Grand Prix last August, Guy was obviously delighted with the succesful outcome.

But it was back to basics for he truck mechanic on Tuesday morning. “Back to work tomorrow.” he smiled. “I’ve got a R620 (Scania) with a headlight problem that needs sorting in the morning.”

Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

Biographer of John McGuinness & road racing's foremost writer & photographer