25 October 2012 - 10:00
Video: 355km/h on America’s fastest road
The traditional way to open a new road is for some local dignitary with a comb-over to say a few words, then cut a thick ribbon with a big pair of scissors and declare the road open to some polite applause. That's not how they do it in Austin, Texas though.
When they finished the new SH130 toll road that links the new Circuit of the Americas to downtown, it was decided, with a bit of encouragement from local tuner John Hennessey, that the best way to open it would be to go as fast as possible on it for a whole day.
That being a TopGear way to open a new road, particularly one with the highest speed limit in the western hemisphere - 135km/h for its entire length - we went along to help out. Or, perhaps more accurately, get in the way.
We weren't disappointed. Instead of two lanes of arrow-straight Tarmac reaching off into the distance, we found some two-lane blacktop wriggling through and over the local countryside.
We also found two super-tuned Hennessey rocketships waiting for us to thrash - a Camaro Zl1 and a Hennessey CTS-VR - so we had all we needed to set a big number and scare ourselves stupid. And we did.
Here are a couple of videos to get you going. You'll notice a distinct lack of any scissors and ribbon in any of them...