Freestyle skier and rally driver Guerlain Chicherit just did something awesome at the winter sports resort of Tignes in France, by doing a backflip in a Mini Countryman. Chicherit pulled off the first such maneuver ever performed in a car using a static ramp.
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.
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