World-First Desert Drag Race
Martin Brundle drives new 2016 model year Jaguar XJR in 1.75-mile live car race against 'Jetman' Yves Rossy in the Dubai desert.
The Jetman Dubai pilot Yves Rossy, took on his first ever live race when he went head-to-head against a Jaguar XJR driven by former Formula One star Martin Brundle in a unique contest deep in the Dubai desert. Brundle, who drove in F1 alongside Michael Schumacher and is now a commentator, had the new all-aluminium 550PS, 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 Jaguar XJR at his disposal while Rossy was strapped to his 2m-wide fixed wing, powered by four Jet-Cat superchargers.
The race took place on a closed private road and in the skies above it, and was captured in a three-minute short film. Brundle said: «This was the most unique race I have ever taken part in. I have never seen anything like the Jetman wing, full of technology and innovation, and Yves is an extremely brave man. It turns out he is also a very fierce competitor! The Jaguar XJR gave him some stiff competition. The smooth, effortless drive was exceptional and it also handled superbly when I had to avoid sand that had blown onto the road. But as for who won – you’ll just have to watch the film…»
Brundle was helped off the line by the XJ’s innovative All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), a high-tech system that automatically limits traction loss on the rear-wheel drive car at low speeds on slippery surfaces, maximising grip in tough conditions. He was able to reach a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h) before crossing the finish line.
After five seconds of free-fall following his jump from the Jetman launch helicopter, Rossy was able to level off and power through the sky above the car, reaching a top speed of 195mph before he flew over the line.
Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, XJ said: «The new Jaguar XJ reaffirms its status as the most dynamic, distinctive luxury saloon. Its all-aluminium construction gives it a low weight but high strength base and technology like the electric power-assisted steering and All-Surface Progress Control, really does help the driver get the most out of the car.