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The Reigning Speed King: James May and The Bugatti Veyron

We’re currently in the off-season of The Grand Tour and it has me feeling all sorts of nostalgic. It seemed just like yesterday when it was the late fall of 2016 and we were getting our first teasers of the upcoming season, and we were all salivating at the prospect of a new show with the boys. In fact, even watching the current season of Top Gear has me thinking back to the good old days. 22 Series’ of material is an incredible feat, and there is no shortage of memorable moments.

For today, I would like to look back on the time James May, of all people, was the fastest driver in the world. Yes, Captain Slow himself, for a short period, was the fastest man alive. The absurdity of that statement alone makes this a memorable segment, as it was one of the first things that came to mind.

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If you recall, the moment happened in Series 15, Episode 4 when James, who previously took a Bugatti Veyron to its top speed, returned to the super secret Volkswagen test track at Ehra-Lessein to run a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport to the ragged edge. The Super Sport was a beefed up version of its Veyron sibling, boasting an additional bump in power, putting it at 1,200 BHP and a top speed of 267.856 MPH. It’s quite the beast:

James managed a top speed of 259.49 MPH on his run, momentarily placing him as the fastest man alive (in a production car, that is). Later that same day, Bugatti’s official test driver Pierre Henri Raphanel, took the car out for an “official” record breaking run, clocking in at 267.856 MPH, which put him in the records books, and not James.

James, of course, had the memorably diplomatic response of “DAMN HIM!” upon finding out that he had been ousted as the fastest driver in the world. Good times!

Written by Tony Hsieh

Cars, the Buffalo Bills, video games, comics, sandwiches, jelly beans, and the shooting star press; these are the things that Tony loves (in addition to his family, of course). When he's not spending his time writing tech reviews for theslanted.com, Tony puts his lifetime love of muscle cars to use on his 2015 Mustang GT. Tony's top three favorite cars are the 1973 Mustang Mach 1, Ferrari 458, and Aston Martin DBS.

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