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While the Goodwood Festival of Speed ends with an official timed run up the Hill Climb layout, it is generally not actually a competitive event. That changes rarely, when a manufacturer brings something fast enough to fight for a record on the short climb. The track record changed hands in 2019, but the ultra-quick Volkswagen ID R that did it faced a damp track during the actual timed shootout. This year, a British company called McMurtry not only brought a car capable of fighting for the record, they got a dry run in the timed shootout. The result is not just a new official record, but a run nearly one second faster than the ID R’s unofficial record.
The McMurtry Spierling, an electric single-seat track car, certainly does not look this fast standing still. The 90s-take-on-a-Batmobile design hides substantial power and very little weight, although the company has not yet shared official numbers for the year-old concept. More uniquely, it hides a Chaparral 2J-style fan. Combined with the outlandish acceleration expected from a fast electric car and the tiny physical shape of the single-seat Spierling, the resulting car is startlingly quick.
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In the video of Chilton’s timed run, that quickness is visibly shocking. With the noise of the fans drowning out the now-traditional loud road noise of an electric racer, the Spierling looks quicker both in every corner and accelerating out of every corner than you can imagine from a closed-fender car. That results in a final time of 39:08, more than two seconds faster than the official quickest timed run up the hill (set by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren F1 car in 1999) and nearly a second faster than the outright record held by the IDR Considering the Volkswagen it just beat holds the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record and the record for electric cars at just about everywhere it’s ever run, McMurtry may have a few years of record setting left.
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