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SSC Tuatara forced into rerunning world’s fastest car attempt after record is thrown into doubt

Car brand SSC has been forced to announce a rerun of its world’s fastest car attempt after their claim of a record top speed of 331mph was thrown into doubt.  

The company last month said it had set a new world record top speed for a production vehicle when its Tuatara hypercar clocked 331mph outside Las Vegas, toppling the much-debated previous claim of Bugatti’s Chiron.

They said the average speed clocked over two runs saw a recorded 316.11mph, which beats Bugatti’s previous best of 304.77mph, which had also been in question having only been clocked in one direction last year. 

But questions were raised online about the record after car enthusiasts noticed inconsistencies with the GPS speed data shown not matching with the point of view camera; discrepancies over the speed the helicopter following the car was said to have reached; and passing landmarks at different times compared with past runs. 

Car brand SSC has been forced to announce a rerun of its world’s fastest car attempt after their claim of a record top speed of 331mph was thrown into doubt. SSC had said The Shelby SuperCar (SSC) Tuatara set a record production vehicle top speed of 316mph last month in America, clocking a massive 331mph on one of two runs

The company last month said it had set a new world record top speed for a production vehicle when its Tuatara hypercar clocked 331mph outside Las Vegas earlier this month, toppling the much-debated previous claim of Bugatti's Chiron

The company last month said it had set a new world record top speed for a production vehicle when its Tuatara hypercar clocked 331mph outside Las Vegas earlier this month, toppling the much-debated previous claim of Bugatti’s Chiron

Shelby, who is no relation to famed American car designer Carroll Shelby, said they will attempt the record again in the near future with multiple GPS teams and independent Youtubers on site

Shelby, who is no relation to famed American car designer Carroll Shelby, said they will attempt the record again in the near future with multiple GPS teams and independent Youtubers on site

It had been said that officials were on site to verify all world record criteria was met. But it has since emerged that GPS company Dewetron was not there on the day and could not therefore validate the results

It had been said that officials were on site to verify all world record criteria was met. But it has since emerged that GPS company Dewetron was not there on the day and could not therefore validate the results

Shelby SuperCars founder Jerod Shelby blamed a poorly edited video on the flags raised. He said: ‘Somehow, there was a mixup on the editing side, and I regret to admit that the SSC team hadn’t double checked the accuracy of the video before it was released.’

But he later added: ‘We were seeing different speeds for the very same run. The more we looked, the more we tried to analyze, the more we were concerned there were doubts in the relationship between the video and the GPS. I took that very seriously.

Driver Oliver Webb, also posted to Instagram last week to confirm he could not confirm the speed

Driver Oliver Webb, also posted to Instagram last week to confirm he could not confirm the speed

‘The perfect view I had of this record is now gone.

‘Nothing we do in the coming days to try to salvage this particular record, it’s always going to have a stain on it. So, as I sat there thinking through, there was just no way to now make this perfect, it hit me: we have to rerun the record. 

‘We have to do this again and do it in a way that it’s undeniable and irrefutable.’ 

The date of the next record attempt has not been confirmed.  

Driver Oliver Webb, also posted to Instagram last week to confirm he could not confirm the speed. 

Shelby, who is no relation to famed American car designer Carroll Shelby, said they will attempt the record again in the near future with multiple GPS teams and independent Youtubers on site. 

It had been said that officials were on site to verify all world record criteria was met.

But it has since emerged that GPS company Dewetron was not there on the day and could not therefore validate the results.

Critics said at points in the footage the speed the car was said to be traveling did not match the speed at which certain landmarks on the road were passed in comparison to previous runs on the same highway. 

It was also noted only one GPS company were used in the record attempt.  

The Tuatara’s two efforts had been clocked at 301.07mph and 331.15mph on the morning of Saturday 10 October near Pahrump, Nevada, along a closed seven-mile stretch of State Route 160. 

It had also set new records for the fastest flying mile, flying kilometre and highest speed achieved on a public road.  

To make its attempt as credible as possible the vehicle used was one of the 100 production models to be produced, and the runs were conducted using street tyres and non-race fuel, the company had said. 

They also said speeds reached in the hypercar were measured by 15 GPS satellites. 

In accordance with record criteria, the Tuatara also traveled in opposite directions, clocking its speeds within one hour, to break the world record for ‘Fastest Production Vehicle’.   

Shelby SuperCars founder Jerod Shelby, pictured, blamed a poorly edited video on the flags raised. He said 'Nothing we do in the coming days to try to salvage this particular record, it's always going to have a stain on it. So, as I sat there thinking through, there was just no way to now make this perfect, it hit me: we have to rerun the record'

Shelby SuperCars founder Jerod Shelby, pictured, blamed a poorly edited video on the flags raised. He said ‘Nothing we do in the coming days to try to salvage this particular record, it’s always going to have a stain on it. So, as I sat there thinking through, there was just no way to now make this perfect, it hit me: we have to rerun the record’

But questions were raised online about the record after car enthusiasts, pictured, noticed inconsistencies with the GPS speed data shown not matching with the point of view camera; discrepancies over the speed the helicopter following the car was said to have reached; and passing landmarks at certain times in comparison with past runs

But questions were raised online about the record after car enthusiasts, pictured, noticed inconsistencies with the GPS speed data shown not matching with the point of view camera; discrepancies over the speed the helicopter following the car was said to have reached; and passing landmarks at certain times in comparison with past runs

The Tuatara was first announced in 2011, though the production-ready hypercar wasn’t shown until the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. No official price has yet to be confirmed, though Shelby claimed back in 2013 it would ring in at around $1.3million (£1million).

In order to reach such high speeds, the Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded.

Unlike rival hypercars, all the power is sent only to the rear wheels, putting enormous stresses through the rubber fitted to the back wheels. 

It also has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever put into a road car, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA ‘box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds.

The US hypercar is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car's body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram - which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini

The US hypercar is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car’s body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram – which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini 

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal - though they're power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal – though they’re power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button

It is built on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and the lightweight material is also used for the car’s body. As a result, it tips the scales at a mere 1,247 kilogram – which is around the same bulk as a Ford Fiesta supermini.

Because no vehicle can be deemed a hypercar unless it has crazy doors, the ones on the Tuatara are dihederal – though they’re power operated, opening and closing at the push of a button. 

In order to set a record fastest speed, attempting cars and their maker’s need to adhere to a number of strict rules.   

The vehicle used must be a production vehicle, so identical to cars customers will be able to purchase using conventional fuel and road tyres.

The SCC Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded

The SCC Tuatara has a twin-turbo charged 5.9-litre V8 engine, producing a massive 1,750bhp on E85 ethanol fuel, or a lesser 1,350bhp using 91 octane unleaded

The hypercar has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA 'box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds using the paddles behind the steering wheel

The hypercar has one of the fastest-shifting transmissions ever, with the seven-speed roboticised CIMA ‘box capable of changing gear in less than 100 milliseconds using the paddles behind the steering wheel

The recorded speed must be clocked while driving the same route in opposite directions.

These runs should also be conducted within an hour of each other and the average of the top speeds for each used as the quoted land-speed figure achieved. 

This is in order to take into account the wind and road grade that may have favored the vehicle as travelling in only one direction – a stipulation Bugatti didn’t adhere to in 2019 when it tried to stake claim to the title for the Chiron Supersport


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