MINI shows snowboarders how it’s done with the perfect backflip

Written By:
Photography by: MINI USA
Guerlain Chicherit MINI ALL4 Racing backflip
Guerlain Chicherit MINI ALL4 Racing backflip Source MINI USA
Image Gallery
Guerlain Chicherit MINI ALL4 Racing backflip Guerlain Chicherit MINI ALL4 Racing Guerlain Chicherit and MINI team Guerlain Chicherit and MINI team Tignes France

A MINI can do more. It can win the Dakar Rally twice in a row. It can conquer more than 100 markets worldwide. But what about defying the laws of gravity and showing snowboarders how to nail the perfect backflip? Extreme sportsman, freestyle skier and rally driver Guerlain Chicherit rocked up at the winter sports resort of Tignes in his native France to prove it can do that as well. Chicherit pulled off the first such maneuver ever performed in a car using a static ramp, the driver and his MINI coming back down to earth – or, more specifically, a bed of fresh powder snow – unscathed after a perfectly executed backflip on a special prepared track. The jump can be seen in full on the MINI YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/mini

The successful airbound stunt crowns an already impressive career in extreme sports for Chicherit. The 34-year-old is equally in his element on snow as he is behind the wheel of a rally car. Four times a freestyle skiing world champion, he has also won the French rally championship on two occasions. The Frenchman is also a veteran of the X-raid Team (which wrapped up back-to-back Dakar Rally titles in January 2013 with the MINI ALL4 Racing), having made his debut for the German outfit back in 2006. In 2011 Chicherit was in the driver’s seat as the MINI ALL4 Racing turned its first wheels in South America for the world’s toughest rally.

The MINI Backflip show event in Tignes gave Chicherit the chance to bring together every facet of his passion for extreme sports. Tignes is one of France’s best-known winter sports locations and provided the venue for the freestyle skiing competitions in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

The backflip had previously been attempted by other drivers. But Chicherit has now become not only the first automotively-propelled artist to execute a perfect landing, he also did it “unassisted” – in other words, without the aid of a special ramp with moving elements to boost the car’s rotational movement. For his take-off, Chicherit used a static ramp that fits the same template as a quarterpipe on a freestyle course. With the ideal ramp breakover angle in place, Chicherit needed only two other things to record a successful attempt: an extremely light touch with the accelerator and a MINI with a suitably buoyant spring in its step.

Comments

First test drives with the Porsche LMP1 racing car
First test drives with the Porsche LMP1 racing car

The new Porsche LMP1 racing car is currently being put through its paces in test drives on international circuits. Following its successful launch in June on the Porsche test track in Weissach, the prototype sports car ...

Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 14/2013
Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 14/2013

Actor Wotan Wilke Möhring, Allan McNish and Felix Baumgartner attend DTM opening round at Hockenheim. Rahel Frey celebrates her debut in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in China. Successes for the Audi R8 LMS in Sweden and Brazil....

Volkswagen Motorsport Newsletter 03/2013
Volkswagen Motorsport Newsletter 03/2013

The latest Volkswagen Motorsports News from around the world...

EuroCar News on youTube Follow eurocarnews on Twitter