The Guinness World Records has officially recognized Scot Burner as holding the world record for the fastest mile (1.6 km) driven in reverse.
Burner earned the record on June 15, 2022 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It won’t surprise most of those reading to know, then, that Burner completed his record at the National Corvette Museum’s racetrack, in a C7 Corvette.
The choice of track was important because, in order to earn a world record, Burner had to have his vehicle inspected by an independent third party, and he needed a reasonably flat piece of road in order to ensure the fairness of the record.
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Daniel Decker, the NCM‘s vehicle maintenance and preservation tech, filled the first role. Dennis Smith of DDS Engineering, meanwhile, was responsible for ensuring that the track was, indeed, flat.
“We worked the track backward in order to find Burner’s correct starting point to make sure that he wasn’t going downhill,” Smith told the NCM. “Although this was a routine job, it was the first time I have watched someone break a world record.”
Burner also had to push his own skills to limit in order to earn the record. Having previously only driven up to a quarter-mile in reverse, he had to keep his hands steady over the mile-long straight. What made the record even harder is that he had to start his run by rounding a bend, the first time he’d ever done that while high-speed reversing.
Burner started publicizing his reversing exploits in 2020, when he began making YouTube videos. He started with his own 2016 Nissan 370Z, which he got up to a peak speed of 45 mph (72 km/h), and quickly moved onto a series of other cars.
In a video covering an earlier attempt with a white C7 Corvette, he reports that the type of model used matters. The example used for this record was a manual model because the automatic apparently has a reverse speed limiter, whereas the manual model is simply limited by the car’s rev limit.
Over three tests, the bone stock Corvette was able to set a best time of 75.18 seconds. That amounts to an average speed of 45 mph (72 km/h), but he reached a top speed of 53 mph (85 km/h). Most impressively of all, he beat the previous world record of 97.02 seconds by more than 20 seconds.
“We at the NCM Motorsports Park are honored to have had Scot attempt the Guinness World Record for the fastest reverse mile at our track,” said Greg Waldron, NCM Motorsports Park Executive Director. “There is no better place in the world to achieve that honor in a Corvette than at the home of the Corvette.”