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Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare breaks world record!
Who knew combining 125 tons of plywood and steel, 500 gallons of orange paint, two cars and a six story double-loop race track could cause such a stir worldwide?
Well, okay. It sounds bizarre on paper, but seeing two real-life Hot Wheels super-cars racing each other along a Los Angeles road, then driving upside-down inside a six-story high loop at the Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare live at the X Games, was nothing short of spectacular (if a touch nail-biting).
Felicity Thistlethwaite MSN
Team Green revved round the Double Loop Dare!
Rally driver Tanner Foust represented Hot Wheels Team Yellow while former Motocross racer Greg Tracy took on the challenge for Hot Wheels Team Green.
The pair tore off from the finish line outside the Los Angeles Staples Centre, battling for pole position before taking on the Hot Wheels inspired Double Loop Dare - all this with the added pressure of thousands of screaming Hot Wheels fans lining the track.
Kitted out with real life Hot Wheels cars, the pair were driving Hot Wheels AWD Advance Rally Spec Coupes! Meaning both drivers had AD9 turbocharged engines with six-speed manual transmission and 550 pounds of torque at their disposal - but would it be enough to get them to defy the law of gravity, and make it round the loop?
It was a close call, but with a lot of dramatic revving, a nerve-wracking start and a dramatic jump to the finish, Team Green won the challenge within a matter of seconds of starting the race!
Felicity Thistlethwaite MSN
Thousands of spectators lined the streets to watch the Hot Wheels cars defy gravity
What could've ended in fatal disaster with the world's media looking on helplessly, turned out to be a jaw-droppingly stunning event with thousands of young boys deciding there and then that being a Hot Wheel's stunt driver was their calling in life.
Representing MSN Cars, I was on the side-line cheering on the cars as they ripped along the orange track, toward what looked like the double dip of death.
Not one to look on the optimistic side of life, I pondered if it really was possible that both the elaborately decorated cars would make it all the way round the loop, and what would happen if they didn't. But before I could irrationally worry anymore, Team Green had taken the lead and Greg was racing along the Los Angeles strip toward the finish line!
Speaking to both drivers after the stunt, Tanner and Greg jokingly bickered between themselves about Tracy jumping the gun at the beginning:
"I think he jumped the start," Tanner told MSN.
Defending himself, winning driver Greg said: "I come from Motocross! We're pretty good at jumping starts!"
All jokes aside, the two men made history in LA (alongside team Hot Wheels) as the group broke a world record for racing round the six-story tall double loop, in their real-life, four cylinder Hot Wheels cars.
Greg told us: "It was the most amazing... ten or eleven seconds! It was pretty great."
Felicity Thistlethwaite MSN
Stunt drivers Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy drove the Hot Wheels super-cars!
But how did the pair handle the physical pressure of defying gravity and driving round the loops? Greg explained the start of the loop was where he felt the most physical pressure:
"For me, the really big part of the compressions you experience is at the entrance. That's where you experience the 7Gs of force. But, you know, our cars were set up for that and we really tried to even that out - but it's a big hit.
"When I was upside-down I was really thinking, hey - I think I'm in front of Tanner now, I really can't make a mistake."
Greg continued: "We have the best cars in the world, but cars aren't really designed to go six-stories up, upside-down!"
Tanner said: "The one thing that I noticed while watching videos of full-sized cars going round loops is that my toy set sure seemed like the car was going a lot quicker. In reality, 7Gs is making the car push into the ramp with over 20,000lbs - that's the amount of force.
"The faster you go, even just a few MPH more, takes the pressure to 8Gs and 9Gs - then the potential for the car to just break when it's entering the loops is pretty high."
Greg laughed, " Can I just add that when we first discussed this with Hot Wheels, I didn't believe the 22-year-old engineer who said we needed to be travelling at 52 mph at the top of the loop - I said to him 'You're crazy. Go back to University, get a master's degree and we'll talk.'"
But it wasn't just the speed that could've been dangerous for the pair. Going upside down whilst driving is surely disorientating? Team Yellow driver Tanner Foust explained:
"It is disorientating, I think that's why the engineers came up with the black line through the centre of the loop so we have something to look at."
"The G load is so heavy, for a split second, I was trying to work out exactly what was going on!" Tanner Foust explained
Greg interjected, saying: "There are two white marks at the top of the loop, and that's to let you know you're upside-down. And that you made it half way! We did good!"
"It only takes 4Gs to pass out, so driving at 7 you're fighting your natural instinct of wanting to blackout."
Simon Waldron, Vice President of Marketing for Hot Wheels told MSN he was happy, if a little relieved: "I'm still speechless to be honest. You plan to do these things, and we did it- all thanks to these two guys really!
"This obviously means a lot to Hot Wheels, bringing childhood dreams to life. I'm very pleased to be sitting here saying we broke a world record."
With another spectacular stunt under their belt, it's hard to believe Hot Wheels will be able to top the Double Loop Dare. But where there's a will, there's a way. And Hot Wheels are certainly pushing the boundaries of toy car to real car design.
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