The controversy started on LinkedIn, the business oriented social network website used for business networking. A member of one of the motorcycle groups featured in this website, Louise Ann Noeth, a.k.a. as “Landspeed Louise” for her years of coverage of the dry lakes scene, explains that Jesse James claim that he set the world record for hydrogen-powered vehicles on June 16th on the southern California El Mirage Dry Lake is without merit. The reasons advanced are that 1- the activities were conducted without benefit of any motorsports sanctioning authority. 2- the vehicle was not inspected, nor certified and all the timing personnel were on the James TV payroll. She explains that all world land speed records require 2 runs over a 1 mile course within 1 hour and that Jesse was timed only one way on a total of 132 feet, short of 5148 feet, and that he made 3 passes over an 8-hour period.
The president of the Southern California Timing Association just stated that “Mr James did not set any official record. What he did accomplish was to exceed an existing speed record previously set by a BMW HR2 at 185 mph”.
And now my point of view. When Jesse sent me an email from the El Mirage Dry Lake to share with me the speed he reached, he never wrote that his record was FIA ratified. This event was setup, organized and filmed with as its main objective to become a new episode of “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” to be aired in August. Nobody is stating that Jesse didn’t reach this speed. And I am sure that the production will make certain that there is no confusion with what constitutes an FIA record. I am also pretty sure that the show viewers don’t care too much about the technicalities. And finally, knowing Jesse I would not be surprised if he climbs again aboard his hydrogen machine to make the required runs front of the FIA officials (picture Hildie Katibah for Spike TV).