Guerlain Chicherit is about to crashWhile there are those who watch automotive exploits hoping (secretly or otherwise) for a spectacular crash, most of us are happy when everything goes smoothly. But at the end of the day, a daring stunt wouldn't be a daring stunt if there weren't some element of danger. And make no mistake about it, Guerlain Chicherit's recent long-jump record attempt was a daring stunt if ever there was one.

Chicherit, for those unfamiliar, is a French athlete who made the rare transition from "conventional" sports to motor sports. An accomplished professional skier, these days Guerlain drives a specially-prepared Mini Countryman in off-road events like the Dakar Rally and in death-defying stunts. Last year he managed to backflip his Mini and land in the record books, and this past winter he went after Tanner Foust's record by attempting a 360-foot jump at a ski resort in the French Alps. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

Despite several practice jumps at closer distances, the final attempt ended in a massive cartwheel crash in front of the gathered crowds. Several spectators published footage of the crash soon after it happened, but now GoPro has released a more comprehensive compilation showing the lead-up to the event and the jump itself from every angle – inside, outside and away from the vehicle. It's guaranteed to make you cringe, but remember that Guerlain miraculously escaped with minimal injury and will live not only to tell the tale, but likely to take another crack at it. Whether you're the kind to gawk at such a crash or not, the video below is worth watching.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      LilCe003
      • 6 Months Ago
      I think the "OH S#$%!! Look on his face is priceless. On another note I'm always amazed at the engineering that goes into today's safety equipment. The fact that he was about to climb out of there after that is just amazing.
      ihatedavebushell
      • 6 Months Ago
      He is French, need we say more?
      Scott
      • 6 Months Ago
      I recall reading that going nose-over like that was most likely to driver error - maybe that he lifted off the throttle? Or maybe it's due to an error in one of the calculations? Can someone comment on this?
        Richard
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Scott
        That's how it works in motocross - the rider uses the brake and throttle to maintain proper attitude in the air. Since the gyro effect isn't as strong in a vehicle (at least that's my understanding), it might help the use brake and throttle, but I wouldn't think it would have much affect.
          Echelon Bob
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Richard
          Yeah, that makes sense that you could control a light motoX bike even while in the air due to the relatively larger mass of the rear wheel and only a single rear drive axle. But I don't see that working with a 4-wheel drive rally Mini where I think the torque forces on the front and rear axles would counteract each other. I think in that case it mostly depends on the launch moment where the rear axle has more effective torque.
        Echelon Bob
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Scott
        I'm not a stunt driver but maybe we can think about the physics. It makes sense that there is a moment where the front wheels are off the ramp but the rear wheels are still in contact. You can imagine it as an artificial wheelie. At that point, if you apply more throttle, and therefore torque to the rear axle, there is a counter-torque applied to the car body. Going from left to right, clockwise torque applied to the rear axle generates counterclockwise torque on the car body causing it to start a back spin. Conversely, lifting or applying brakes at that moment might have the opposite effect, causing the car body to start a somersault. Then, there are the torque effects while in flight. I'm not sure about those in this case though since it's a 4 wheel drive car with both front and rear axles.
        i-Zapp
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Scott
        Absolutely that was driver error. Pulling off a distance jump requires three things: the correct launch speed, the correct launch direction, and (what's relevant here) the ability to control the attitude (rotation) of the vehicle in mid air. This last part is what many riders and drivers struggle with the most, and what this driver f'ed up - clearly he had chopped the throttle mid flight for unknown reasons. Maybe because he was so nose-hgh on the earlier jumps he just over corrected. But FOR SURE he should have had the throttle buried (called "panic revving" for the initiated) and all 4 wheels spinning at whatever max speed they were capable of. If you listen to trophy truck racers taking big air, you can hear them workign the throttle mid air to keep the vehicle straight. It's the CHANGE in rotational tire speed that causes the vehicle to pitch. He may have the balls, but it does take technique to pull this off even with all the fancy telemetry and physics math behind it.
          Echelon Bob
          • 6 Months Ago
          @i-Zapp
          Again, that makes sense for 2-wheel drive (1 axle) vehicles - agree 100%. But for 4 wheel drive, why wouldn't the two axles impart opposite torque to the vehicle body and therefore cancel each other out when in the air?
      stratazarious3
      • 6 Months Ago
      To me it looked like his speed was perfect but the take off ramp needed to be another 5 -10 degrees higher but it also looked like there was some sort of wind that pushed the car down enough to make it goes nose first. Thankfully modern day technology of break away glass carbon fiber parts help disperse the energy of the crash impact plus solid car safety roll cages hans device helped him walk away from that wreck