Pastrana sets world record for jump in rally car
January 2, 2010
LONG BEACH – Travis Pastrana ended up in the water again.
The daredevil shattered the world record for the longest jump in a rally car on Thursday night, making a nearly perfect flight of 269 feet from the Pine Street Pier onto a barge anchored in the harbor.
“It was a wild ride,” said the wild man of action sports.
His Subaru skidded sideways after landing and slammed into a safety wall at the end of the barge, but Pastrana emerged unscathed. He ran up the landing ramp and did a backflip into the water in front of a crowd estimated at 20,000.
In 1999, Pastrana announced himself to the action sports world when at age 15 he celebrated an X Games gold medal by jumping his motorcycle into San Francisco Bay. That stunt got him into a fair bit of trouble, and he lost his prize money and medal.
This time, his splashdown was well-received.
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“It’s soft,” Pastrana joked about his penchant for jumping into the water. “It was a lot colder than I anticipated.”
He broke the old record by 98 feet.
“The flight was awesome,” the 26-year-old daredevil said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
After teasing the crowd of several thousand with a warmup run down the 1,000-foot run-in and up the takeoff ramp, Pastrana did it for real, flying across approximately 220 feet of water to the landing ramp on the barge just a few minutes after midnight EST.
Pastrana said he skidded at the end because the dew had set in about 10 minutes before he took off. Had he landed straight and stopped before the wall, he planned to spin doughnuts in celebration.
Asked about the condition of his car, he laughed and said, “Good-ish. It’s not a submarine, so I think that’s good.”
The old record was 171 feet set by Pastrana’s Subaru teammate, Ken Block, in a rally car in November 2006. Pastrana wanted to break that mark by more than 100 feet.
He came close.
“There’s a 40-foot window where I wasn’t going to break or die,” he said, “and I hit it right in the middle.”
The stunt was the latest in Red Bull’s New Year, No Limits series.
Pastrana was the first to do a double backflip on a motorcycle, and he’s gone on to win four straight Rally America championships.
As part of his Nitro Circus TV show, he’s done such crazy stunts as riding dirt bikes off a ramp into the Grand Canyon and parachuting the rest of the way down; and jumping out of a plane without a parachute, confident that a fellow skydiver with a parachute who jumped out at the same time would catch up to him and guide him to earth.
“This is one of the cooler feelings, just to be part of something so huge,” he said. “It was kind of pass or fail. It was just a really good time and trying to push the envelope of what’s possible in a car.”