“If everything goes perfectly, then most people could do it,” says Oliver Webb, according to Jalopnik.
Webb is a 29-year-old professional race car driver. He also unofficially now holds the world record for reaching the fastest speed in a street legal vehicle on a public road. We say “unofficially” because the numbers still haven’t been certified by Guinness.
Driving a SSC Tuatara, Webb hit 331 mph on a Nevada state highway on October 10. While State Route 160 is clearly a public road, it was actually closed off for this speed test.
“Hiring a driver that can save a car when it goes wrong at 300-plus miles per hour is impossible,” Webb added. “That’s not going to happen.”
Check out the Top Gear video of the record breaking run:
Most of us have no idea what it’s like to drive at these incredible speeds. Webb honed his skills via almost two decades of racing experience. From early karting day as a kid, to Formula Three and Indy Lights. Then he carefully studied the patch of road he was going to test the SSC Tuatara on. He knew every crack in the pavement and every slight elevation change. At over 300 mph, even the slightest surprise can be deadly.
Webb mixes that experience with a zen-like calmness. In fact, other members of the team thought he was simply unimpressed by the car.
“In this job,” Webb says, “you don’t want someone excitable.”
The test took place over five mile of Nevada highway. There was a financial bonus if Webb could manage to break the record (which it appears he did). However, he didn’t disclose the amount. He insisted it wasn’t enough to buy one of the $1.9 million SSC Tuatara models himself. The supercar, made by an American company in Richland, Washington, kicks out a massive 1,750 hp from its 5.9-liter flat plane crank V8 engine.