Pastrana Leaps Into the Record Books -- Again
Action sports and rally star Travis Pastrana jumps his Subaru WRX 269 feet to set a new world record
Well, we told you to tune in to see history being made on New Year's Eve, as Travis Pastrana attempted to set the world record for longest rally-car jump -- did you see it?
MSN Autos' own Kim Wolfkill was lucky enough to actually be on hand for the event. In case you did miss it, below is his recap of the feat of skill, amazement and sheer insanity that was the jump:
As if multiple motocross, freestyle, X-Games and rally championships weren’t enough, Pastrana can now add a world record car jump to his growing list of achievements. Highlighting this year’s Red Bull New Year No Limits celebration in Long Beach, Calif., Pastrana thrilled an estimated 75,000 revelers as he launched his Subaru WRX rally car a record-breaking 269 feet, jumping off the Pine Avenue pier onto a barge moored in Rainbow Harbor.
Like he’s done so many times before, the 26-year-old action sports icon accomplished something seemingly insane -- in this case, jumping a car over a span of water nearly the length of a football field -- while making it look easy. His 95-mph launch off the massive 15 degree ramp was picture-perfect, as was his trajectory over the water (which was dotted with rescue boats) and the subsequent landing -- a full 269 feet later. Even the final sideways slide and impact into the barriers at the end of the barge was part of a risky, but well-orchestrated, plan.
Like most everything truly life-threatening that Pastrana attempts (and as crazy as this latest escapade seemed) he and his experienced Subaru/Red Bull crew left little to chance. The 15 seconds of action witnessed by the Long Beach crowd -- and millions around the world -- was in fact the result of months of preparation. Pastrana had performed at least a couple of dozen practice jumps, methodically working up to the final, record distance. During several test sessions, the team tweaked the car’s suspension and weight distribution to ensure predictable behavior in flight. Pastrana, incredibly, even practiced controlling the car’s attitude in the air, including adjusting for headwinds and crosswinds.
Aside from the jump itself, extensive effort went into ensuring Pastrana’s safety should anything go wrong. The numerous rescue crews stationed in boats in the harbor had prepared for any worst-case scenario. Should things really go sideways, his Subaru was even equipped with an air tank bolted to the floor and a diving regulator within easy reach.
Thankfully, none of this was necessary, as the stunt went off without a hitch. Pastrana “greased” his landing perfectly, sending the New Year’s crowd into hysterics. Ever the showman, he then jumped out of the car, ran back up the landing ramp to salute the crowd and promptly back-flipped off the ramp into the water.
With another spectacular achievement under his belt and a head full of crazy ideas still left to try, it won’t be long before we’re all once again amazed, impressed and genuinely frightened by the far-fetched antics of the talented Travis Pastrana.
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