The indoor speed record is a mantle not commonly fought over. In fact, it seems those whacky Brits are the only ones even mildly interested in even trying for it.
The crew at BBC's Top Gear made a go of it in an empty hall at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London this past summer, where the Stig was clocked at 70 mph in a production Chevrolet Lacetti and 81 mph in a Toyota F1 car. At Top Gear they figured they couldn't do much better on account of the slippery floor surface.
Now the folks over at sister-publications Autosport and Autocar have bested Top Gear's times when they made a go of it at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. Phil Cooper, reigning champion in the British Autograss Series set an 82 mph record in his Toyota-powered race car (pictured), just edging out the Top Gear record. Autocar editor-at-large Steve Sutcliffe was clocked at 76.8 mph in a road-legal Ariel Atom. The two new world records, having been recorded with officially recognized telemetry equipment by certified independent testers, are being submitted for the Guiness Book of World Records.
The publications held the time trials at the convention center which they'd already rented out for Autosport International, billed as the world's biggest motorsport show, with over a million square feet of exhibitors.
Given that both Top Gear and Autocar reported the biggest problem being traction, we figure if anyone actually cared enough to lay down a surface with more traction (or use a larger indoor space - say, the main hangar at the Boeing plant), those records could easily be shattered. Anyone care to give it a try? Yeah, we didn't think so.