December 6, 2023

EV World Racing Association EVWRA

Where EV's & Hybrid World Speed & Endurance Records Are Made Too Be Broken!

A Carwow Drag Race Challenge With McMurtry To Break The Internet

  • McMurtry were invited to a drag racing showcase with Formula One World Champions Red Bull and one of the world’s most revered car companies: Bugatti-Rimac.
  • The opportunity to unite these the companies and vehicles on the same piece of tarmac was quite a feat, and facilitated by carwow, one of the largest automotive youtube channels famed for ¼ mile drag racing challenges led by Mat Watson. 
  • McMurtry entered the Goodwood Record holding Spéirling prototype, known for its rapid standing start acceleration albeit with a top speed of 150mph.
  • Red Bull entered their 2012 World Championship winning Formula One car called the RB8.  It’s the car with the highest power to weight output in the line up, but as a rear wheel drive car without fan downforce low speed traction was a known challenge.      
  • Rimac entered a Nevera used as part of their test program.  A 1914hp 4WD fully homologated road car weighing 2300kg.  With Rimac’s published ¼ mile times constantly improving in the preceding months, it was clear the outcome would be close fought.
  • Despite vastly different weights, power and drivetrain layouts, the performance over the ¼ mile between the two electric cars was remarkably close, worthy of a photo finish
  • Rimac won with two wins vs McMurtry’s one from a best of three.   Congratulations to Rimac and Mat Watson for this achievement.  
  • Despite the McMurtry’s famed standing start acceleration, the 150mph top speed wasn’t quite enough to maintain the lead at the finish line. 
  • The new McMurtry Spéirling PURE under development for customers has a 190mph top speed, which will make an interesting proposition to enter into a future challenge. 


drag race – McMurtry vs Red Bull vs Rimac Image Credit: Carwow

How the day unfolded

The McMurtry lined up with the 2012 Red Bull F1 RB8 car on its left, and Rimac’s development Nevera on its right.

Red Bull’s skilled mechanics were keeping their car’s fluids and tyres preheated at the correct temperatures.   The external starter span the 2.4 litre V8 into life which always turns heads as it can rev to 18,000rpm. In the F1 car was Liam Lawson, Red Bull F1’s reserve driver who has won races in every formula he’s competed in.

drag race – McMurtry vs Red Bull vs Rimac Image Credit: Carwow

The Rimac was waiting patiently ready to deploy its 1914hp through its 4WD system.  carwow presenter Mat Watson was harnessed into the bucket seat, ready to react at the starters orders.  Shod with road legal tires pre heated by tire blankets, in theory Mat could have finished the challenge and continued out to drive straight onto the public road.

The McMurtry Spéirling was running on hard compound racing slicks, without tire warmers. The same setup as run in the dry at Goodwood.  It spooled its downforce fan system up to 23,000rpm.  The fan exit duct created quite a visual spectacle as it sucked the vast amounts of dust off the runway whilst producing its jet like sound.   Alex Summers, McMurtry’s development driver fresh from doing demonstration runs at Goodwood, was piloting the McMurtry and ready to launch.

drag race – McMurtry vs Red Bull vs Rimac Image Credit: Carwow

There was an electrifying atmosphere across the airfield.   The weather forecast was threatening rain but it remained dry and sunny.

The way the 3 cars generate their speed and acceleration are noticeably distinct.  Different trade offs on drivetrain, mass, grip and price tag were about to be showcased in a format which has captivated the car community for decades, the standing start ¼ mile.   None of the three vehicles are purposefully designed for ¼ mile drag racing but are leaders in their respective fields.

After a best of 3, the Rimac Nevera won two and McMurtry won one.   The McMurtry used the advantage of its fan downforce system to gain traction and pull ahead in the early stages of the race, holding the lead until the 150mph peak speed was hit, at which point the Rimac Nevera, capable of 258mph reeled in and passed the McMurtry moments before the line in a tantalisingly close, photo finish.

The Rimac and McMurtry were so close they were both timed at 8.4s, with the Red Bull running a 9.5s ¼ mile.

The day will go down in history as the first head to head encounter between McMurtry and two giants of the automotive and motorsport world.

McMurtry vs Red Bull vs Rimac

McMurtry would like to congratulate Rimac and Mat Watson on winning the ¼ mile challenge.  To witness a car over two tons, deploy such vast power and torque with relative ease on road tires is hard to fathom.

The day finished with a ½ mile rolling race from 50mph and a brake test from 100mph.

McMurtry knew that with a 150mph top speed, the ½ mile would only be a competition between Red Bull vs Rimac to take the spoils.

The result was Rimac, Red Bull then McMurtry.

The brake test finished in order of vehicle mass. With RedBull taking the win, followed by McMurtry in second and Rimac completing the podium…of three.

We are excited that the new customer car being developed at McMurtry HQ, the Spéirling PURE, is a good step towards turning the tables in a rematch.  With a 190mph top speed, it will certainly be interesting to re-run the challenge at the next opportunity to measure the straight line performance progress in this fun and direct format.

Company Objectives

  • McMurtry’s ambition is to become one of the world’s most prestigious and long-standing automotive brands, founded on motorsport innovation. 
  • Inspired by legends of the past, we champion small and lightweight. 
  • We proudly showcase British innovation and engineering design

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