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John Hennessey Replies To Bugatti Chiron’s 300MPH Record Run

Alongside Bugatti and Koenigsegg and a number of other automakers competing for the top speed record, sits American tuning company Hennessey Performance.

For a long time they’ve held onto a top speed record with their Hennessey Venom, which recorded a top speed of 265.57mph. And lately Hennessey has been keen to claim that their new Venom F5 will blow any car out of the water with a top speed of 311mph. Of course, this is theoretical.

Now, with Bugatti coming out of nowhere, especially after admitting that this speed record wasn’t their aim a few months ago, and breaking the record, alarm bells have started ringing in the minds behind these competing marques. Hennessey wasn’t slow to add their comments to the 304.77mph run by Andy Wallace.

John Hennessey, owner of Hennessey Performance told Top Gear the following:

“I was in Arizona when I heard the news of Bugatti’s 300mph run,” John told “I’ve been waiting for Bugatti to run a big number and I’m impressed with the speed. I thought there was a chance that the guys from Wolfsburg / Molsheim might try something like this, but felt that it probably would not happen until 2020. However, I’m surprised Bugatti did not run both directions.”

Bugatti Chiron Has Broken 300mph Barrier

It’s no surprise that he brings up a two-way measurement as this was a criticism he received in 2014. Hennessey’s latest record was approved by the Guinness Book of World Records, and was measured in two directions with an average speed taken from both runs. Bugatti’s run was verified by the TUV, Germany’s Technical Inspection Association, not Guinness. Take that how you will, but John Hennessey was obviously going to jump on this fact.

Do you think it’s cheating? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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  1. I’m fairly confident that if ze Germans took that Chiron elsewhere that they would easily vmax in both directions at well over 300mph. The problem with the straight at Ehra Lessien is that over time the tarmac has flattened in one specific direction, making it incredibly smooth one way, but rougher the opposite way. Rougher surface means higher friction and therefore higher tyre temperatures which the Chirons tyres wouldn’t withstand. Hence the single, one way run, for now….

  2. If speed records were only one way many more speed records would have been achieved over the years. Many attempts have been failed because of a mechanical failure or a failure to make it back to the line to run the return trip in a specified time. It’s impressive the Bugatti ran that fast but that’s only One direction. Run both directions and then you’ll have something to brag about

  3. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  4. Ehra Lessien cant be run two ways by this Chiron. Great risk of blowing up tires and killing the driver. Also I dont believe in luck, specially when german engeneering is involved.In fact, chances are the car can go faster than this, but they are at the limit of what the tyres and the circuit allows them to do. When it was the Veyron, speeds were lower and they sort of managed to run it 2 ways. Not gonna happen with the Chiron. Hennesey should learn a thing of two from Koeniggsegg that its keeping his trap shut. He will only open it if he beats the record. Also the american car is not even past the prototype phase yet. They have a few years ahead of them to see if they can even attempt the record.

  5. Nope, not cheating. However, a two way record trumps a one way lucky shot that will always have an asterisk beside it saying, “One way, no return against the wind”.

  6. Whatever they required should be required always. Much like offshore power boats taking an average of runs this should be the same way. Go America!

  7. I don’t think it’s ‘cheating’…..yes, they broke 300mph, but it simply can’t and shouldn’t be officially recognised as a record until it can be repeated in both directions.

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