165km/h indoors? Porsche’s Taycan just broke a strange world record!
NEW ORLEANS - ‘Indoors’ has become a dreaded word associated with the preceding year, but that didn’t stop American racing driver Leh Keen from finding a way to make it seem more exciting.
Why not shatter the world speed record for indoors driving? That thought was the seed, and it soon turned into a reality thanks to a Porsche Taycan Turbo S and a rather large convention centre in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Until now the Guiness World Record for the fastest indoor speed stood at 86mph (138km/h), however Keen managed to hit 102.6mph (165km/h) in the Porsche, as verified by independent adjudicators.
Keen had to start his record attempt and finish it at a standstill, all within the space of the building - there could be no run up, no safety net and no doors open and therefore no escape route. For good reasons, therefore, the record has stood for seven years. Clearly a car that could accelerate and decelerate extremely quickly was called for and Porsche’s battery-powered Taycan Turbo S, which can hit 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, was a natural choice.
Selecting the right building was just as challenging, which is why Keen chose the Ernest N Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, which is the largest contiguous exhibit hall in the US, with over a million square feet of space.
However, there was a drawback as, like many other indoor facilities, the polished concrete surface replicated ice when being driven over at speed. Keen’s strategy was to build up slowly, with low speed exploratory runs, and the stock street tyres were preheated as a precaution.
“I didn’t really appreciate the scale of the record attempt until my first exploratory run,” Keen said.
“The surface is so unpredictable, so slick, that you have to have complete trust in your car. It truly was like ice – and you’re accelerating flat out, facing a really hard wall at the end. Suddenly, even in a massive space like the one we had, it seems very small”.
“However, I could feel the Taycan’s systems figuring it out, working so hard to keep me heading straight – it was such an impressive feat. To accelerate so hard on such an erratic surface was incredible. Not for a moment did I doubt I could do it.”
Leh said the speed he attained came as a surprise as he had not looked at the speedo, and he was relieved that he’d beaten the previous record by such a margin:
“It was a rush! I’m thankful for Porsche for trusting my abilities and for their preparations and encouragement - 102 mph inside a building. What was I thinking?”