HEAD TO HEAD: Ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle raced the new Jaguar XJR against Yves Rossy (right) who was strapped to a 2m-wide fixed wing, powered by four Jet-Cat superchargers. Image: Anthony Cullen
Pretoria - The Jetman Dubai pilot Yves Rossy, took on his first ever live race when he went head-to-head against a Jaguar XJR driven by former Formula 1 star Martin Brundle in a unique contest deep in the Dubai desert.
Brundle, who drove in F1 alongside Michael Schumacher and is now a commentator, had the new all-aluminium 405kW, 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 Jaguar XJR at his disposal while Rossy was strapped to his 2m-wide fixed wing, powered by four Jet-Cat superchargers.
(Wing) Man vs Machine
The race took place on a closed private road and in the skies above it, and was captured in a three-minute short film.
Brundle said: "This was the most unique race I have ever taken part in. I have never seen anything like the Jetman wing, full of technology and innovation, and Yves is an extremely brave man. It turns out he is also a very fierce competitor.
"The Jaguar XJR gave him some stiff competition. The smooth, effortless drive was exceptional and it also handled superbly when I had to avoid sand that had blown onto the road. But as for who won – you’ll just have to watch the film…”
Watch: XJ Versus the Jetman
Brundle hit 280km/h
Jaguar says the XJ uses an innovative All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), a high-tech system that automatically limits traction loss on the rear-wheel drive car at low speeds on slippery surfaces, maximising grip in tough conditions.
Brundle was able to reach a top speed of 280 km/h before crossing the finish line.
After five seconds of free-fall following his jump from the Jetman launch helicopter, Rossy was able to level off and power through the sky above the car, reaching a top speed of 314km/h before he flew over the line.
The Jaguar XJR will form part of the 2016 XJ line-up, which goes on sale in locally early next year. It will cost R2 194 290.
FEROCIOUSLY QUICK BARGE: The new Jaguar XJR is powered by a 405kW, 5.0-litre Supercharged V8. Image: Anthony Cullen