The pursuit of speed is as old as the automobile. A trait common among gearheads and car enthusiasts alike is the desire to push limits and continually go faster. The perfect example of this can be seen in the origination of NASCAR.
During the time of Prohibition, bootleggers modified their cars to be able to outrun and outmaneuver law enforcement. Soon, they began racing each other and this set the stage for stock car racing and, ultimately, NASCAR.
The “Need for Speed” (sorry, we had to) from a top speed perspective really started to build traction in the 1980s. With the introduction of cars like the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40, there appeared to be a shift from typical quarter-mile drag racing in the 70’s to unfathomable top speed.
The technology and capabilities that these cars came with from the factory were far beyond their time. From there, cars began reaching 200mph which, at the time, was the pinnacle of supercar speed.
Then, in 1992, the McLaren F1 was released with an electronically limited “top speed” of 231mph. The vehicle actually was capable of 240.1 mph, and in 1998 hit 243 mph during a private test. All of this was done in a Naturally Aspirated V12 built by BMW Motorsport.
McLaren shattered any previous speeds set and held the factory top speed record for many years. Also, the fact that this record stood strong for so long out of a non-forced-induction setup is mind boggling.
Two decades later, with cars like the Bugatti Veyron coming out with 250+mph top speeds in the early 2000’s, it was only a matter of time before privateers caught up. Of course, these speeds were done in multiple-mile distances, but thanks to events like the Texas Mile and Shift-S3ctor’s Airstrip Attacks, participants started to see the capabilities of what their modified vehicles could achieve in standing mile and half-mile distances.
It became clear pretty quickly that the holy grail of speed was now 300mph; something no street car, whether stock or modified, had ever achieved regardless of distance. The closest attempt for a street car was set on a closed course in Nevada.
In November of 2017, a Koenigsegg Agera RS set the production car speed record with an average of 277.9mph, and achieving a peak speed of 284.5mph.
However, as can be seen from the video above, this wasn’t good enough for M2K Motorsports; a performance shop based out of Texas. A long-time competitor of the Texas Mile and similar events, M2K has set three of the fastest recorded speeds with their heavily modified Ford GT.
In October of 2013, they achieved 278.2 mph in the standing mile. Then, in March of 2017, they bested their previous with a trap speed of 293.6 mph. In March of this year, records shattered when M2K achieved something that many thought to be impossible; 300mph in a standing mile.
Piloting their 2500+HP Ford GT, they eclipsed the timing markers at a speed of 300.4mph. This pass also set a new Manual Transmission Half-Mile Record at 240.0mph. To put that into perspective, 300mph is equivalent to 134 meters per second.
A football field is roughly 91.5 meters long, so at that speed, their Ford GT was traveling nearly one and a half football fields per second! Not only did this Ford GT fly past the capabilities of multi-million dollar supercars like Bugatti’s and Koenigsegg’s, but it was accomplished in less than half the distance.
As of September, 2019, Bugatti was able to also surpass the 300mph barrier with a 304.8mph pass utilizing a 5-mile straight away on their 12-mile test track. This prototype, modified Chiron has caused some controversy over whether this constitutes a production car, or street car, that is worthy of being called a “record”.
Being a work in progress for many years, it is truly magnificent for M2K Motorsports and a 13-year-old Ford to achieve such a groundbreaking and unfathomable speeds both in a standing mile, as well as manually shifting to a new manual transmission record in the half-mile. It does beg the question, though: what’s next? 350mph? Only time will tell!