NISSAN was forced to pull its record breaking Nissan Leaf stunt from the Goodwood Festival of Speed over safety fears.

The manufacturer was aiming to set the fastest time for a car going backwards up the famous hill at the weekend.

Because the Nissan Leaf is an electric vehicle and has a continuous variable transmission, it can theoretically travel at the same speed backwards as it can forwards.

However, the stunt was pulled at the last minute over safety fears. A spokesman for the manufacturer said lack of testing on the circuit prior to the event forced the plug to be pulled at the eleventh hour.

However, Nissan said it still hoped to break records with the Leaf and would be testing the electric car at Goodwood this week for a possible re-run next year.

"We still want to break records with the Leaf," said the spokesman. "The fact it can travel at speeds up to 90mph backwards is too good an opportunity not to exploit. The car does have to be modified for this to be possible though, so there are safety issues we need to overcome first."