The Royal Automobile Club

The Royal Automobile Club

The story of The Flying Kestrel was featured in a 4-page article in the incredibly prestigious Royal Automobile Club magazine (which was released on 11th August 2021). The Royal Automotive Club is a members-only club and was founded in 1897 by motoring pioneers. Sporting two magnificent clubhouses in London and Epsom, they offer first-class facilities and a busy programme of sports, events and other activities to our members and their families.

The feature covers the entire journey of The Flying Kestrel so far, detailing all the major events that have happened over the past 2 years; including the initial finding of the car, the unveiling with Rachel Riley, the creation of The Flying Kestrel TV documentary series and comments from Victor Riley -the grandson of the Riley Motor Club founder.

We are continuing our relationship with the Royal Automobile Club by hosting The Flying Kestrel season 2 premiere at their The Pall Mall clubhouse, which will take place on 17th September 2021, with the official release of season 2 happening shortly after, on the digital streaming platform, Insight TV.

How to watch The Flying Kestrel series on Insight TV


If you have a smart TV, download the Insight TV app


type into your internet browser

OR download the Insight TV app on your smartphone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.


Set up an account on Insight TV (use the promo code ‘THEFLYINGKESTREL’ for a 60-day free trial). Once your account is set up, search ’The Flying Kestrel’ and begin watching!



The Flying Kestrel, a 1930s Riley Kestrel 9 found rotting in a barn in Holland and renovated during lockdown has set a new straight-line UK land speed record at Elvington Track in Yorkshire.  

The last time The Flying Kestrel was on the track for a test day, it crashed, but its driver and lead engineer Jonathan Webster escaped unscathed.

But on Tuesday, June 22, it lived up to its name and flew to set a new UK straight-line speed record.

As ratified by the UK & International Timing Adjudicators, The Flying Kestrel broke the record for a Class D 2.5 litre engine for the Half Mile Standing Start by over a second, recording a speed of  159.634 mph.

The car, with trademark fastback styling, had not been touched since 1965 when Nigel and Joel McNally from Bedfordshire discovered it rotting in a barn in Holland in early 2020. They commissioned Webster Engineering to the ambitious restoration project, which saw it fitted a specially modified 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder engine capable of 900bhp.  

“Plenty of people told us we couldn’t do it,” said Nigel McNally founder and CEO of Brookfield Drinks and The Kestrel Brewing Co. “We have had setbacks and issues, particularly with the aerodynamics on such an old-style 1930s body shape, but we have never lost faith.  Jon and the entire Kestrel team have worked tirelessly and with utter determination to do such an amazing job and I am so proud of all of them. We have learned a lot from the experience and are already planning to get back to Elvington soon and set some more records that would see us break through the 200mph barrier.”

“Records like this are extremely tough challenges when you consider the heritage of this wonderful old car, but seeing the Kestrel Racing team return a year after their first record attempt, we have all seen how hard they have worked on the project. They have never lost belief that they could do this and so we congratulate them,” said Trevor Duckworth of the UK and International Timings Adjudicators in accordance with Motorsport UK. 

Riley was one of the most successful light car producers in the British motor industry during the inter-war period between 1926 and 1938.

Car-mad father and son duo, Nigel and Joel McNally of The Kestrel Brewing Company, discovered the car and commissioned Webster Engineering to the ambitious restoration project. Renowned for designing and building bespoke race-winning vehicles at its state-of-the-art studio at Santa Pod Raceway, the company holds numerous records at virtually every national race car event.  John Webster, its principal, has been involved in the build of numerous high-profile vehicles including the world record holding four-cylinder Ford Focus created for Ford USA.

Rather than pull off the track and head into cosy retirement, the car will now take pride of place in Kestrel’s extensive new marketing programme, becoming a roving brand ambassador with its own range of clothing and merchandising, a dedicated website and social media channels, brand advertising and PR campaigns and a busy schedule of guest appearances at live shows and events across the UK and internationally as they return.

Read More:

New beginnings. Preparing for record attempts 2.0


The Flying Kestrel testing aerodynamics at HORIBA MIRA – Mira Proving Ground Nuneaton

We hope you enjoyed the first series of The Flying Kestrel! If you are yet to watch it, the short episodes take you through the renovation process of a classic 1935 Riley Kestrel car in order to compete for various land-speed records. However, this is no ordinary car renovation; check out the episodes to find out more…

The series consists of 5 10-minute-long episodes which are aired on Insight TV. To watch, simply type into your web browser or download the Insight TV app. From there, you can sign up for a 60-day free trial using the code ‘THEFLYINGKESTREL’. Once this is done, search ‘The Flying Kestrel’ and it will be available for you to watch!

(*spoiler alert*)

After the car rolled during the first record attempts (thankfully due to Jon’s incredible build he left unscathed!), Jon is in the process of modifying the car further to better our chances at gaining a record this summer.

Yesterday, we took The Flying Kestrel to Mira Proving Ground in Nuneaton where it was placed in a wind tunnel so Jon could assess the changes he has made to the car. The data we got back was promising and work will continue on the car up until June where we will be entering various world-recognised land-speed records which include:

‘Class D’ 2.5-litre engine
1 Km standing start 
1 Km flying start 
Outright Record for the 1km, of:
Standing Start
Flying Start

Stay tuned and follow us on our socials to keep up to date! 


Going For The Record

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Rebuilt from 9 brake horsepower to 900 brake horsepower, it’s time to see if The Flying Kestrel has what it takes to break the speed records. Watch now on and use promo code ‘THEFLYINGKESTREL’ for a free 60-day trial.

The Official Unveiling

After countless hours poured into restoring the vintage 1935 Riley Kestrel, the transformation is finally complete. Join Rachel Riley as we unveil The Flying Kestrel in all its glory on April 4. Watch the episodes on Insight TV: and use promo code ‘THEFLYINGKESTREL’ for a 60-day free trial.

The Rumble of The Beast

With only days until the official unveiling of The Flying Kestrel on April 4, the 1935 Riley Kestrel’s transformation into a rumbling beast is nearly complete. Join Rachel Riley as she gives you a sneak peek inside the belly of the beast. Watch the episodes on Insight TV: and use promo code ‘THEFLYINGKESTREL’ for a 60-day free trial.

The Flying Kestrel premiers on Insight TV – Giving Old Wheels New Life

The first episode of The Flying Kestrel series is premiering today, March 21, on Insight TV! There will be a new episode each Sunday, with 5 episodes in total for series 1. You can view these through this link: and use the promo code ‘THEFLYINGKESTREL’ for a 60-day free trial. Buckle up and enjoy the ride! 


Heritage lager brand drives export markets around record breaking car challenge

Iconic Scottish beer, Kestrel have announced a major international marketing push built around a new globally-distributed TV documentary series which tells the story of The Flying Kestrel, the company’s miraculous transformation of an abandoned 1930s Riley Kestrel car into a land speed record breaker.

To be broadcast across linear and digital networks to over 300 million people worldwide from March 2021, the new and exclusive two season Show is being produced and distributed by Insight TV, the leading millennial-focused global channel provider alongside factual entertainment and live sports event specialists Spark Content.  

Launching next month Season 1 documents the epic ‘blood, sweat and beers’ journey of Nigel McNally, founder and CEO of Brookfield Drinks and his son Joel McNally as they set about transforming the rusted heap they recovered from a barn in Holland into a turbo-charged racer capable of speeds of over 200mph. Alongside an intimate glimpse into the work of acclaimed engineer Jonathan Webster, it is not all plain sailing with some dramatic setbacks along the way. With filming ongoing, Season 2 will tell the final story as the team goes for glory, which is far from guaranteed.

With a new 40 second TV commercial “Brewed for the Bold” set to be released to coincide with the Show’s launch and highlighting the completion of the heritage beer brand’s rejuvenation, Kestrel Beer is targeting a major sales and marketing push in multiple markets including the US, China, India, Australia and South Korea.

The Kestrel brand, hugely popular and successful in the 1980s and 1990s was purchased by McNally in 2012 and now includes 5%, 7% and 9% ABV variants.

“In true Kestrel fighting spirit, we have nurtured and developed The Flying Kestrel project throughout the pandemic, giving the beautiful old car a new lease of life and finally uncovering its true potential. It’s the perfect showcase for our brand and testament to some important traits we have always held dear – unflappable teamwork, the ability to overcome adversity and the power in following your dreams and sticking your foot down on life’s accelerator,“ said McNally.

“The Flying Kestrel’s amazing story is still unfolding and with every episode we reveal the twists and turns both car and crew take in their quest to realise their dreams,” said Arun Maljaars, Insight TV’s Vice President of Content and Channels.

Production for the series started last year with filming at the iconic Santa Pod Raceway where the car was unveiled by TV presenter and star mathematician Rachel Riley who features in Season 1.  As Marc Hayward, CEO and Executive Producer of Spark Content explains: “The Flying Kestrel story has been a fantastic production to work on. What started as a bit of an intriguing idea soon turned into a serious passion project and one that has had its fair share of bumps, bruises and serious dramas along the way. We think people will love it and take real inspiration from its abiding spirit of adventure.”

The car with its turbo charged 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder engine capable of 900bhp and speeds of over 200mph is gearing up to become a roving brand ambassador with its own range of clothing and merchandise, dedicated website and social media channels and a busy schedule of guest appearances at live shows and events across the UK and internationally when they restart.

A new TV commercial will be launched later this month and the marketing campaign will span print, social and digital, PR and e-commerce.

Trade press coverage:–Insight-TV-Spark-Content-and-Kestrel-Beer-Team-up-to-co-produceemThe-Flying-Kestrelem.note.aspx