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The Fastest Ever Lap Recorded on a Closed Circuit

CART is the name of the game, Gil de Ferran is the man, Fontana is the place, Penske is the warhorse and 240mph+ is the register.

Illustration for article titled The Fastest Ever Lap Recorded on a Closed Circuit

If the term “going too fast” has never crossed your mind, now is the time to rethink some of your preset concepts. 241.428mph on average.

To put it into insane amount of metrics, that is 388.541kph. Again: on average.

Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California isn’t a fan favourite for nothing. It is genuinely one of the fastest, low-bank ovals on Earth and in 2000 CART were the kings of top speed anywhere around the world. Penske has always been a world-class formation, competing in the top level of all forms of motor sports including sportscars, F1, NASCAR and IndyCar.


The Reynard 2KI chassis equipped with the turbocharged, Honda HR-0 V8 engine flew the Brazilian Gil de Ferran to victory at the end of the year with an insane velocity.

The top speed on the straightaways of Fontana was presumably way over 250mph or 400kph. That is a freakishly high speed even if being alone at the track in an open-wheel car, not on a public road with other fighter jets racing around.


Without too many reference points, it’s impossible to tell on face value how fast the car goes, but just imagine a top-class sprinter at a 100-metre race and it would be 11 times faster. On average. Which doesn’t sound like a lot until you consider that such speed is still three times larger than the restriction on most motorways in Europe.


So watch and consider: fast or not?

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