The McMurtry Speirling Broke the Goodwood Record with Sim-Racing Paddle Shifters

Goodwood’s famous hillclimb has just seen its all-time record smashed by a very unusual car with a strange sim-racing connection.

The car in question is the McMurtry Speirling, and this all-electric, 1000hp/ton rocketship is equipped with Fanatec sim-racing kit instead of traditional automotive electronics.

Chances are you won’t have been familiar with the McMurtry Speirling before this weekend, but the team at McMurtry Automotive has been developing the car for six years. It was actually revealed at Goodwood in 2021, but didn’t attack the track at the time.

It’s an incredibly compact car, four inches shorter than a kei car, but also four inches wider. There’s only room for a single occupant, and they sit on top of a pair of electric motors that provide more than 1000hp to the rear axle.

Just as importantly, they also sit on top of an enormous pair of fans which provide more than twice the car’s own weight in downforce at any speed — at more than two tons, on a car weighing less than one.

If you were watching the various live streams from the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, you might have caught sight of the slightly unusual electronics solution in the reverse cockpit camera.

McMurtry has fitted the Speirling with a Fanatec Advanced Paddle Module (APM) (affiliate link). This sits between the car’s own steering wheel, which looks to be a custom item, and the wheel input shaft.

Quite what function it serves on the car is a mystery. There’s no need for shifting gears or operating a clutch because the Speirling has neither. Instead, it’s likely to be related to power modes, motor deployment, and energy recovery.

While unusual, it’s not entirely unique. Fanatec supplies the entire steering wheel assembly for BMW’s M4 GT3 race car, which you can pick up for use on your sim rig too, and we have previously seen the APM used by Hyundai for its World Touring Car (WTCR) i30N.

On the McMurtry however, it’s now a record-breaker. The Speirling, which sports a license plate and will be sold for road use, blitzed the hill in 39.08 seconds, eclipsing the 39.9s record of the Volkswagen ID.R Pikes Peak set in 2019.

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