Anyone remember ‘Streak Racing’? A staple of 1970s British bedrooms, it was basically a plastic strip of track, a ramp, and a very satisfying way to fire your toy cars uncontrollably into the air/wall/nearest adult, with predictably disastrous results.
It now seems that the 21st century’s kings of toy cars – Hot Wheels – are planning to recreate such childhood fun in real, terrifying life. Oh, and break a four-wheeled long-jump world record in the process.
The scheme to set up a record-breaking full-sized death ramp is to celebrate the Indianapolis 500 race’s 100th birthday (we’d have just sent a card). It involves a mysterious pixellated mentalist (as seen in the video below) driving down a 90-foot ramp in a custom-built 850bhp Pro2-style truck, before launching themselves more than 300 feet across the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield.
For reference, here’s Travis Pastrana doing something equally stupid.
The engineering behind the stunt, named ‘Fearless at the 500′, is just as ridiculous. The whole set-up, which is made from a combination of rock-concert rigging and steel trusses, is 100 feet tall, 1,500 feet long and needs 36,300 kilos of ballast to stop it falling over.
Once said pixellated mentalist has driven down the 45-degree roll-in – hitting more than 3 Gs in the process – they’ll reach 90mph before launching off the 16-foot-high takeoff ramp, punting them in the air for more than 300 feet before they reach the 220-foot-long landing ramp.
And as the whole jamboree’s sponsored by Hot Wheels, they’re dressing the lot to look like a kid’s bedroom, including a giant door cladding for the 10-floors-up launch tower.
The event kicks off on May 29. Good luck, we say. Based on our experience with a Mini and a ski-jump, we know that this sort of thing can be rather tricky…