It’s an odd way to lose a record, sort of like having pulled your punches and the judges scoring against you because you didn’t pummel your opponent badly enough. But here’s the statement CarBuzzard received from Sara Wilcox of Guinness World Record’s North American offices:
“It has come to the attention of Guinness World Records that there was an oversight in its adjudication of the ‘Fastest production car’ which was set in 2010 by the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. As the car’s speed limiter was deactivated, this modification was against the official guidelines. Consequently, the vehicle’s record set at 431.072 km/h is no longer valid.”
Guinness, which also certifies records including Most Garters Removed by the Teeth in One Minute and Most Alarm Clocks Smashed by Feet in One Minute (we’d rather try the former though some mornings the latter would be a snap—so to speak—to beat), has decided the car setting the record wasn’t “production.” The Bugatti Veyrons sold to customers come with speed limiters that holds top speed to 258 mph. The Veyron, however, did 267.8mph, as certified by Guinness.
Cynics suspected the recall of the top speed record a result of the Hennessy Venom GT – “a Lotus Elise based supercar with 1244bhp from a 7.0 litre GM LS9 engine”– running 265.7mph, which would, of course, been short of the then standing Bugatti record but well ahead of the Veyron with its safety switch on.
Of course, one result of this will be the elimination of the speed limiter on future Veyrons, even if it does run up insurance rates for Veyron 16.4 Super Sport owners.
However, another result will be stricter scrutiny of automotive speed records, says Wilcox: “Following this, Guinness World Records is reviewing all ‘Production car’ record categories with expert external consultants to ensure our records fairly reflect achievements in this field. “
At risk will be records for acceleration to assorted speeds, braking and zero-to-speed-to-zero records.