NZ Performance Car - - Meeting Leadfoot -

An­other one of Rhys’s ma­chines tak­ing up shed space is this truck, but Rod can’t think of a bet­ter place to keep the ve­hi­cle from his son’s least­favourite pro­ject to date. He went on to say that he hated the Red Bull stunt, and we un­der­stand why. Rhys’s first at­tempt, on New Year’s Eve 2007, left him with a bro­ken back and frac­tured neck af­ter he hit the ramp 6kph too fast, caus­ing him to over­shoot the card­board land­ing on the 16th test run and not fully ro­tate, land­ing the truck on its roof. Al­though dur­ing his lengthy re­cov­ery he swore never to at­tempt it again, ex­actly one year later, the team re­turned to Las Ve­gas and com­pleted the jump to bring in the new year.

Learn­ing from the first ap­proach, the team built a new truck. The orig­i­nal was a Cham­pi­onship Off Road Rac­ing (CORR) Su­per­lite ma­chine run­ning a V8, whereas the new one was a mod­i­fied Su­per­lite with a much lighter 2.4-litre four-cylin­der po­si­tioned more cen­trally to re­duce the pen­du­lum ef­fect a for­ward-po­si­tioned en­gine caused. The spe­cial­ized ramp, with me­chan­i­cal kicker at its peak that would kick up the front wheels, was also mod­i­fied. Rhys’s team pi­o­neered this ramp tech­nol­ogy, and it has be­come the ac­cepted way to flip ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing mon­ster trucks.

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