French Rally Driver and pro skier Guerlain Chicherit took to the skies earlier today (February 17,2013) in a heavily modified Rally Spec Mini Countryman and performed the world’s first backflip in a car (Check out the video below!).
Set amongst the backdrop of the beautiful snowy mountains in Tignes, France, Guerlain drove up a static ramp and poetically jumped his Mini Countryman at just the right speed that allowed him to fully rotate his vehicle before landing softly on a freshly prepared bank of snow. Absolutely no injuries to Chicherit were found and relatively no damage was found on the car.
According to Mini, Guerlain Chicherit had not only the skill, but a special connnection with Mini,
“ The 34-year-old is equally in his element on snow as he is behind the wheel of a rally car. Four times a freestyle skiing world champion, he has also won the French rally championship on two occasions. The Frenchman is also a veteran of the X-raid Team (which wrapped up back-to-back Dakar Rally titles in January 2013 with the MINI ALL4 Racing), having made his debut for the German outfit back in 2006. In 2011 Chicherit was in the driver’s seat as the MINI ALL4 Racing turned its first wheels in South America for the world’s toughest rally.”
This was equally a triumph of man and machine. What made this jump special was the fact that it was unassisted. Previous attempts at a backflip in a car used special ramps which boosted a cars rotational movement, but Mini’s ramp was a static ramp in the same style as a quarter pipe on a snowboard freestyle coarse. Chicherit’s landing was also flawless.
Kudos goes to Mini for funding and pushing forward such a challenge.I’m sure engineers and physics professors will reference this case as an example in their Upper Division Physics classes or on a Statics and Dynamics Exam for years to come. And the majority of the credit goes out to the driver, for which without his skill, none of this would be possible.
Source: BMW Press Group