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 top revolutions per minute. Automatic cars are governed.
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 hits 54 mph in reverse on a public road, which is not something we advise trying at home.
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 reign it in while backing up.