A new Guinness World Record has been set for the fastest mile driven in reverse, with a time of 1:15.18.
The record was set June 15, 2022, by Scot Burner at NCM Motorsports Park, the racetrack attached to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Burner drove a C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with a manual transmission. He used a manual because its speed in reverse isn’t governed, and instead maxes out when the engine reaches its maximum revolutions per minute. Automatic cars are speed-governed in reverse.
Burner has a YouTube channel called Always in Reverse where he drives various cars in reverse to see how fast they’ll go. He averaged 52.1 mph during his record run. In a Corvette video he made last November driving the same car, he hit 54 mph in reverse on a public road.
According to the entry for the record on the Guinness World Records website, Burner realized he could break the record after noticing the previous record was a time he had already unofficially beaten. One of his videos shows him hitting a slightly faster top speed of 56 mph—in a Kia Sorento.
At least one other driver has gone faster in reverse without officially claiming the fastest-mile record. Then Audi Formula E driver Daniel Act hit 130 mph in Schaeffler Group’s electric Audi RS 3 touring car in 2018, but apparently no one timed him over a mile.
It’s possible to go too fast in reverse, at least as far as safety regulators are concerned. In 2017, the Mercedes-AMG G65 was recalled because the software that limited top speed in reverse wasn’t properly calibrated, potentially allowing vehicles to exceed the 16 mph deemed safe. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.5-liter V-12, the G65 was capable of a claimed 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds while going forward, so it was probably a good idea to rein it in while backing up.