Mini claims world's first car backflip

MATT CAMPBELL
Last updated 08:08 19/02/2013
Fairfax Australia

French daredevil completes first unassisted backflip in Mini Countryman.

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Mini claims to have completed the first unassisted backflip in a car.

The man at the wheel, Guerlain Chicherit, executed the jump from a static ramp in a highly modified Mini Countryman John Cooper Works SUV.

Mini claims Chicherit is the first driver to have completed an automotive backflip using the car's propulsion only, without any ramp assistance, "in other words, without the aid of a special ramp with moving elements to boost the car's rotational movement".

Chicherit is a world champion freestyle skier and champion rally driver. He completed the feat in Tignes, France.

The Mini brand is no stranger to a publicity stunt. It has been involved in a number of high-profile exploits, including world record attempts for driving a car, at speed, into a tight parallel parking spot (with just 15 centimetres to spare) and teaching dogs to drive cars.

The Cooper also lit up the big screen with a series of spectacular stunts in the 2003 remake of the Italian Job.

It's the first time the iconic British hatch has seen some time upside-down, though.

In 2012, toy car maker Hot Wheels completed a double loop-the-loop, with two rally-spec coupes successfully looping through 360 degrees on a track.

In 2009, professional driver and Pikes Peak rally champion Rhys Millen attempted a backflip in a Red Bull-prepared truck, but crashed upon landing.

In 2011, monster truck driver Ryan Anderson completed a backflip in his Son-uva Digger machine. You can watch it below.

-Fairfax News Australia

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