In an email to Motor1.com, Auto Vivendi Director Craig Williams stated the following with regards to this speed run:
I have been sent your article on the incident at our Vmax200 event and in the interests of clarity I thought you might wish to have the full story and would kindly would ask you to remove the incorrect reference to lack of braking area and that the driver braked at the correct point please.
The facts are as follows:
- The driver did not actually brake when passing our very clear brake signs and ignored all warnings made to him before this fateful run. As can be seen from his film, for reasons known only to him, he put the car into neutral at the brake signs which, aside from ignoring our instructions (and most driver’s instinct) to brake hard, took away all usual engine braking, he then coasted through the available braking area withour slowing down sufficiently which is why he was unable to make the turn at the end of the runway and went through our safety bale wall at the end.
- Knowing the driver had a lot of experience at other similar events in other countries, and that his car was very powerful we personally reiterated to him the safety briefing advice to build up slowly and learn the course in advance of this incident, he ignored this.
- Another very similar modified Porsche on the day went faster than he did, braked correctly at the advised point and made the turn at the end without any issue whatsoever.
- Our advice in the safety briefing (which the driver attended) is to build your speed up slowly and in turn increase your braking as we allow participants limitless runs. This driver ignored this to a very unfortunate end. Our expert safety crew undertook our usual rigorous safety protocols and dealt with this in the most professional manner as always.
Vmax200 has been running almost 18 years with speeds of up to 245mph, during 2019 we undertook some 4000 plus runs down the runway and this was one of only two incidents of vehicle damage due to driver error during that time. The brake area was actually longer than our usual distance and considerably longer than he is quoting but became largely irrelevant as he failed to brake sufficiently or soon enough to safely turn off the runway.
I have safety and driving experts who have analysed the film and other facts including our own footage plus eye witnesses and all came to the same conclusion. Some were present at the event. Pure driver error was their conclusion.
As in any incident, our priority is to ensure that the driver is given the highest level of care from our team and as petrolhead and professional event organisers ourselves, seeing a customer’s car damaged is terrible, but unfortunately we cannot legislate for a driver ignoring all our safety advice. The driver is very lucky, our two rows of safety bales ensured there was thankfully not any further damage.
I hope this assists in a true representation of the events. It’s important as a reputational issue, but also for ongoing events around the world for motoring enthusiasts to enjoy safely.
This video hurts, but fortunately, the only thing injured was the car. That’s rather spectacular when you realize this highly tuned 997-era Porsche 911 was still going almost 90 mph when it ran off the end of a runway after hitting 227 mph in a speed run.
The car is a product of German tuning company 9FF, and as you can imagine by the name, the tuner has a fondness for the 911. This particular car is was appropriately named the 911 Turbo S Rocket, though if we’re honest, a rocket accelerates much slower than this monster, at least for the first 200 mph. That’s because this Porsche boasts nearly 1,750 horsepower (1,305 kilowatts), which is certainly enough to make launching a challenge but once moving, this car can rip from 62 to 124 mph (100 to 200 km/h) in just 3.1 seconds, and then blitz to 186 mph (300 km/h) in another 4 seconds dead. So yeah, it’s seriously fast. Or at least, it was.
Gallery: Tuned Porsche 911 crash
The mega-911 flexed that power at a recent Vmax200 speed event when the above crash took place. The car managed to max out at 227 mph on the runway, but there wasn’t any mechanical failure that led to the incident. According to the video from Car Acceleration TV, the braking zone simply wasn’t long enough for a car hitting such velocities. The shutdown area was allegedly 530 meters (1,739 feet). Fortunately, hay bales at the end of the runway slowed the car before it careened into the grass, which could’ve led to a dangerous high-speed roll without that initial impact. Still, smacking hay at nearly 90 mph (145 km/h) is rather destructive.
The video description suggests the car is a total loss, but judging by the still shots at the end of the clip, we reckon it could be put back into service. Its days of being a bonkers 1,800-hp land missile, however, are probably over.