A number of car manufacturers have attempted some crazy feats with racing drivers behind the wheel, but a noteworthy attempt has been done by famed racing driver, Ben Collins in a Range Rover Sport. This feat is insane because the car and driver are not put to test on a race track, but a 14.9 km downhill ski course.
Located in Murren, Switzerland, the Inferno has a 2000 metre drop in height and is claimed to be one of the world's longest alpine descents. “The Schilthorn summit is almost 3,000 metres high and the finish area is in the bottom of the valley. The weather and terrain conditions change drastically from the top to the bottom,” said Christoph Edder, Inferno Race President. “In this course, braking means losing,” he added.
The Inferno downhill race was founded in 1928 and has claimed many lives. That said, the sport is not dead and insane skiers come there every season to participate. “The Schilthorn is not designed for cars. It is designed for skiers to go downhill very fast. Insane skiers,” exclaimed Ben Collins before making the attempt. Even Land Rover Experience's Manager, Phil Jones agrees that this will be a phenomenal feat to achieve for the acclaimed racing driver. The ski course in itself has a number of hairpin bends, sudden terrain changes and is tricky at most of the places. Alber Feuz, Inferno Champion (1968 and 1969) stated, “I think with the car it is more dangerous than with the skis.” Of course, the course is meant for skiers.
So, the car is question is the Range Rover Sport which has no mechanical updates for the attempt except for a roll cage, safety harness and reinforced tyres in case Ben fails the attempt and ends upside down in the car. It is powered by a massive 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 motor that churns out a monstrous 543 hp of power and a massive 680 Nm of torque. Despite being over two tonnes, the Range Rover Sport has a top speed of 260 km/h and crossed 100 km/h from standstill in just 4.7 seconds. It also has an all-wheel drive system for the tricky situations which are plenty on this downhill ski course.
The stage is then set! Ben Collins is somewhat tizzy and starts the course. Along with the hairpins and the steep downhill angle, Ben and the Range Rover Sport also tackle the snow on the course at first. This quickly changes to loose gravel, then mud and then grass. During the course, there is a moment where the rather heavy SUV goes airborne. Surely gave us goosebumps. Did he make it to the bottom unscathed? Watch the video to know.