Racing reverend is a world record breaker

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A SPEED-hungry funeral director has smashed the world land speed record for a motorcycle with side-car hearse at Elvington Airfield.

The Reverend Paul Sinclair clocked a top speed of 117.6 mph on the airfield’s 3,000m runway.

He broke it earlier this month while testing his latest Suzuki Hayabusa, one of a small fleet of hearses on which motorcycle enthusiasts are taken to their final resting place.

The former Pentecostal minister, who established his company Motorcycle Funerals Ltd ten years ago, was three mph quicker than the existing world motorcycle hearse land speed record of 114.1mph, set in May last year by Reverend Ray Biddiss on a Triumph Rocket.

This record, which was also achieved at Elvington Airfield, currently still stands as Mr Sinclair’s time needs to be verified by Guinness World Records.

The 46-year-old said: “What I was there to do was a speed test and I found out after that my vehicle happened to beat a record while I was there.

“I even turned up in my funeral clothes. That’s how keen I was to find out what it would be like at funerals.

“We do use it at funerals but I don’t know what sort of speed I am doing.

“On funerals people ask for a ‘last blast’. It is very popular. But I can never tell them what speed I am doing for legal reasons.”

Mr Sinclair said the record-setting motorcycle hearse was used for funerals just before and after being tested at Elvington.

He said: “It is a stock bike. It’s not souped-up for racing. It is just a normal bike we use for funerals.

“A few days before it was out on funerals and two days after it was on a funeral.”