Zef Eisenberg: Braking error during racer's land speed record bid may have led to his death, inquest hears

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A daredevil entrepreneur who was killed while attempting to break a land speed record may have started braking too soon in the moments before he died, an inquest has heard.

Zef Eisenberg was trying to prove he had created the world's fastest Porsche when he was killed in a crash at Elvington Airfield, near York, on 1 October 2020.

An inquest in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, heard his "extensively modified" car overturned at high speed and he suffered multiple traumatic injuries, dying at the scene.

The 47-year-old ultra-speed motorbike racer had asked for a braking parachute to be fitted to the Porsche 911 Turbo as he created his own "bespoke design".

A statement from race marshal Graham Sykes said Mr Eisenberg had successfully used it throughout the day.

But on the final run, Mr Sykes said "the car began to lift as though air had got under it", as the parachute was deployed.

This can cause the car to become "unstable" and lose control, the hearing heard.

Mr Sykes said: "Sadly I feel driver error caused this tragic accident."

He added Mr Eisenberg had been a "well known and much respected driver within British motorsports" and described his death as a "truly tragic incident".

In the past decade the father-of-two had amassed more than 90 land speed records on two wheels and four.

He had already survived Britain's fastest motorcycle crash at the same airfield in 2016.

'A true genius with unique talents'

The former teenage bodybuilder from north London had to learn to walk again after breaking bones in his legs and pelvis, and a year later started competing again on the rebuilt bike.

His enthusiasm for motor sport saw him presenting the ITV show Speed Freaks, about the design, build and engineering of extreme cars.

Mr Eisenberg made his fortune with the Maximuscle fitness brand of protein powder, eventually selling to pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline and moving to Guernsey.

His family described him as "a true genius with unique talents" following his death.

The inquest is due to resume at a later date.

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