The SSC Tuatara might be the fastest production vehicle on the planet, but the record isn’t yet official.
SSC claims it set a new production-vehicle land-speed record of 316.11 mph on Oct. 10. Two weeks after the record attempt, the Washington-based automaker has yet to have an independent third party verify and certify the GPS satellite data that backs the record.
On Monday, Amanda Marcus, Guinness World Record’s North America public relations manager, told Motor Authority, “We are aware of the recent SSC Tuatara attempt although Guinness World Records was not present in any capacity, and we have not verified this as a new record.”
Guinness World Record’s rules require independent third-party witnesses be onsite at the record attempt, verify the data, and certify they saw it. Corbin Harder, SSC creative director, told Motor Authority that the two independent witnesses were Brian Shoemake of Pahrump Life magazine and Nevada legislator Gregory Hafen II. SSC says it has the required verification but has yet to send it to Guinness.
SSC says it will meet Guinness World Record requirements regardless of whether or not it has an independent third party verify the satellite GPS data.
Software and hardware from Dewetron, an Austrian manufacturer of high-precision test and measurement equipment, was used to measure the car’s speed.
On Monday, SSC published a joint press release with Dewetron stating Dewetron validated SSC’s speed-record claim.
On Wednesday, however, Dewetron CEO Christoph Wiedner released a statement saying Dewetron has not validated any data from SSC’s record attempt, confirmed no Dewetron employees were present for the attempt, and that the company is not able to guarantee the data due to the need for proper setup and calibration. Wiedner also stated Dewetron has not received the data file from SSC.
SSC said a proprietary DMD file created by the Dewetron system exists for the record runs, but the company would not share the file with Motor Authority. Harder told Motor Authority SSC would be sharing the DMD file with Dewetron, but as of Wednesday Wiedner said the measurement and tracking company has not received any data file.
Motor Authority has reached out to SSC to confirm when it will send Dewetron the data file but has not yet received an answer. The company did say it would submit the data file to Guinness within a week.
Michael Savittieri, Dewetron regional sales manager for the western U.S., told Motor Authority that SSC used a Dewetron TRIONet chassis with a GPS card and a laptop to process the satellite tracking of the record attempt.
The tracking equipment was lent to SSC by Dewetron, according to Savittieri.
Dewetron chief operations officer Steve DiPalma was supposed to be onsite to witness the record attempt but complications with logistics due to the coronavirus prevented DiPalma from attending, Savittieri said.
Savittieri noted SSC was trained by Dewetron on how to use the equipment.
“Our system is extremely accurate, and that data they (SSC) collected is accurate,” said Savitteri. While the system is accurate, “it’s all about the scaling (calibration) for when you are setting up.” If the system is set up or calibrated incorrectly the data would not be accurate.
Analysis of Dewetron’s DMD file can be performed, but the data can not change from the initial recording, according to Savittieri.
SSC also released a statement on Wednesday saying the videos of the run that have been released so far were botched. The statement also laid out the Tuatara’s gearing, its rpm at various speeds, and how the speed was measured.
As it stands, SSC simply has to submit its information to Guinness to qualify for the official production-car land-speed record. However, confirmation from Dewetron that its equipment was properly used and calibrated would help eliminate any doubts that SSC does indeed own the record.