If you haven’t been following the SSC Tuatara record controversy, you’ve been missing out. In a nutshell: the SSC Tuatara team claimed its car set a speed record for a production car on a public Nevada road. Folks on the internet scrutinizing the video claimed that there was no way the car actually went 533 km/h. The driver of the car doesn’t have any idea what’s going on. Now, the founder of SSC North America (formerly Shelby Super Cars), Jerod Shelby, has decided that the only thing to do is just go out and try to set the record again.
“No matter what we do in the coming days to salvage this particular record, it’s always going to have a stain on it,” Shelby said in a video he released on YouTube. He came to one conclusion:
“We have to re-run the record. We have to do this again and do it in a way that is undeniable and irrefutable.”
You can check out the full video below:
Shelby explains that he and the SSC team did not actually have possession of the raw video footage that showed the run. They hadn’t seen it. And once they started watching, “We were seeing different speeds for the very same run. The more we looked and the more we tried to analyse, we were concerned there were doubts in the relationship between the video and the GPS.”
He agrees that he dropped the ball. But damn, if that isn’t a big ball to drop.
It’s a little mind-blowing that a car maker would attempt to set a legitimate speed record without ticking every single box multiple times, but that’s pretty much what happened here. There was one in-car GPS and some video footage that SSC didn’t even have access to. And yet it went ahead and claimed it set record speeds before ensuring it had covered all its bases.
I have to admit that Shelby is pretty open about the fact that there were some screw-ups along the way and that he’s already looking for ways to better set the record — next time, for example, by having multiple GPS units from different companies in the car as well as personnel from those companies on-site to double check everything.
Shelby also extended an invitation to the YouTubers who initially questioned the record as a way to further hold himself and his team accountable.
That is, basically, all SSC can do at the moment. Just run the record again, this time with extra assurance that it’s done it right, and hope for the best.