Cable TV personality Jesse James claims he set the world record for hydrogen-powered vehicles on June 16th on the southern California El Mirage dry lake.
The claim is without merit since the activities were conducted without benefit of any motorsports sanctioning authority. The vehicle was neither inspected, nor certified and all the timing personnel were on the James TV payroll.
World speed records require two runs over a one-mile course within one hour. James was 5,148 feet short — being timed one-way for a total of 132 feet; he made only three or four passes over an eight to ten-hour period. Any world record holder will tell you it’s quite a technical feat to hold speed for a full mile.
The baseless speed stunt was reportedly for “the season-ending episode of James’s TV show, Jesse James is a Dead Man.” The episode is set to air in early August.
James claims to have bested the FIA ratified BMW HR2 record of 185 mph. The BMW HR2 race car set 9 international and FIA-ratified land-speed records for hydrogen cars at the Miramas Proving Grounds in France. The BMW HR2 is one of the few hydrogen cars developed with internal combustion engine (ICE) technology instead of fuel cell technology.
Mr. James efforts count for absolutely nothing on the world motorsports stage and amount to little more than a self-promoting “TV racer” PR stunt since he chose to ignore the sport’s sanctioning rules that have applied to all records certified for the past 80 years.
When contacted to explain the fraudulent claim, James responded with a short crude retort that reminded this writer that vulgarity is indeed the refuge of a destitute mind.
“LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth
Member: Society of Professional Journalists, American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters, Motor Press Guild, Society of Automotive Historians, Western Automotive Journalists, Society of Land Speed Racing Historians
Updated: corrected links