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X Games hero tries to break car jump record

January 1, 2010 12:17:12 AM PST
On New Year's Eve, nine-time X Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana has a unique way of ringing in the New Year. He will try to break the world record for the longest rally car jump.Pastrana is a bit of a hero in the rally car extreme sports world. When he's competing in events like the X Games, his car will occasionally get some air. On Thursday night, he's looking to get some really bit air over a really big stretch of water as he attempts to set a world record.

"It looked a lot easier on the little piece of paper I drew it on," said Pastrana. "You've got to be careful of what you ask for, because Red Bull will pull it off."

He'll run his Subaru down a long runway, then hit the ramp and get airborne and ideally land on a barge some 200 feet away. He has to not only control the car while it's land-bound, but in the air as well.

"You can fly the car, hit the hand break, and it drops the nose. If you hit the gas, it raises the nose. If it's windy, I'll actually have to aim off the landing ramp. I hope there is no lull in the wind. It's like a golf ball. It blows you right back on," described Pastrana.

When Pastrana hits the launch ramp, he's going to have to be doing 95 to 100 miles per hour depending on conditions. If he falls short, that water is awfully cold.

The 58-degree water temperature would be the least of his worries, but his team has him covered.

"He's got a regulator here that he can take and breath through if he needs to," said team mechanic Gregg Hamilton, pointing to a diving regulator installed inside Pastrana's vehicle.

Pastrana is hoping that all goes well not just for him, but also his cheering section.

"My mom is out here and all of my family friends. I have literally 30 guys from Maryland who came up to check this out. They're like, 'Look, you better not crash, because we're hanging out afterwards, and we don't want to be in the hospital,'" said Pastrana.

Ringing in the New Year, dry and uninjured sounds much better.