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Automotive world records

By raccars Published

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Is the land speed challenge the most important of all automotive world records?

The team behind Bloodhound SSC thinks so. The current world land speed record is of 18 years' standing, when Thrust SSC set a record of 763mph. The British Bloodhound SSC team is off to Haksheen Pan in South Africa next year to try and beat that with 800mph, and then plans to move on to try for 1,000mph. Bloodhound SSC is due for a rebuild before an arduous process of testing begins.

However the world land speed record is not the only dramatic, dangerous and thrilling automotive world record.

Take a look at these fascinating world records

Fastest drift and longest drift

The world's fastest drift was accomplished in Poland on 3 September 2013 by Jakub Przygonski. He accomplished a 135.44mph powerslide using a Toyota GT86, tuned to produce more than 1,000bhp. A Toyota GT also set the record for the longest drift, recorded at 89.55 miles. The driver was German Harald Muller, who spent two hours on the 235 metre track in Samsun in Turkey on 15 July 2014 in his second attempt at the record.

Longest skid

American Craig Breedlove is a previous holder of the world land speed record, but his CV also includes the record for the world's longest continuous skid marks at six miles. The jet propelled Spirit of America world land speed record breaking car created the skid on Utah's Bonneville salt flats on 15 October 1964.

Fastest standing mile

The fastest standing mile in a road car took place at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on 16 October 2012, when American Johnny Bohmer reached 283.23mph in a Ford GT from 2006. The car, which became known as the BADD GT, was tuned to 1,700bhp by Performance Power Racing, Bohmer's company, for the attempt.

Tightest 360 degree spin

Earlier this year, on 14 January, a new world record was set by Alastair Moffatt at the Birmingham NEC, in front of a live audience. The British stunt driver completed a full circle spin within a gap of just 2.25 metres left between two rows of cars. The previous record for a 360 degree spin was 2.5 metres.

Fastest quarter of a mile in an electric car

Electric powertrain technology is advancing at the speed of light, but the record for the fastest quarter mile in an electric car was set on 17 April in 2012 in Velika Gorica in Croatia. The car wasn't the usual technologically advanced and sophisticated electric sports car - it was a BMW, but a modified 1980s BMW M3, the E30 version. It was converted to an electric car by Mate Rimac, who installed a 440kW motor which took it from 0-62mph in just 3.3 seconds and saw it complete the quarter mile world record in 11.85 seconds, crossing the line at 75.94mph.

Fastest wheel change

Formula One mechanics might be able to switch out a wheel in less than two seconds under race conditions, but changing a wheel on a road car is a very different prospect. So far the fastest wheel change on a road car is 58.43 seconds, a record set on 12 September last year in Miltenberg and Wertheim in Germany. Tyre firm Reifen Umert put four technicians onto the attempt, using traditional jacks and manually operated wheel braces to change the four wheels on a Ford Focus.

Largest car burnout

Australia's annual Street Machine Summernats has been the scene of more than one world record. In 2013, 68 cars set a record for the largest simultaneous car burnout. That record was broken on 1 January 2016 at the 28th edition of the event in Canberra, when 103 muscle cars and custom vehicles carried out the world's latest largest simultaneous burnout. It was a very colourful event too, as some of the participants used special tyre compounds to set off drifts of coloured smoke.

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