Photo: Chris Tedesco/ESPN
Raise your hand if you had a Hot Wheels loop toy when you were a child. Now picture yourself being able to be in the car as it races around the loop like a rollercoaster, with only force holding the car in place. In conjunction with the X Games, Mattel the makers of Hot Wheels created another stunt to feature their drivers.
This year’s stunt, the Hot Wheels Double Dare loop brought together drivers Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy, two drivers, one loop and a lot of excitement.
“You plan to do these things and cover every angle you can think of,” said Simon Walderon, VP of Marketing at Mattel. “A big thank you goes to our brilliant team, the driver and everyone involved. ESPN and the X Games could not have been a better partner. Its fun to be able to bring childhood dreams to life.”
Tanner Foust, driver of the yellow car, also will be competing in Rally this weekend at the X Games. “I have ben so fortunate to drive toys for real,” Foust said. “I never would have thought I would be able to have an experience as an adult to feel 12 years old again. X Games is where you push the envelope and to set the world record here is amazing.”
After a long preparation that included input from roller coaster engineers, NASA experts and many more, the stunt went of without any problems. “We have been preparing for this stunt for a year,” Walderon said. “In our minds we have been preparing longer but actual preparations began just after we jumped a car at the Indy 500. The Hot Wheels loop is so iconic and to create in in real life was a great moment.”
Several technical variables went into the stunt including training of the two drivers to handle the 7G forces thatwere pushing onto their bodies.
“When the 7G forces push onto you and the car, it places pressure on the car making it feel like it weighs 20,000 pounds,” Foust said. “The engineers did the math and determined that 52 mph was the ideal speed to drive at, enough to keep the car flat on the track all the way around the loop. No more no less. 52 mph was the number.”
With the high amount of g forces the drivers were going to experience, they trained with a Navy fighter pilot in preparations.
“From the loop entrance to just about the top was the most disorienting part, said driver Greg Tracy. “When I was upside down, my whole thought and focus was to stay on the track and not mess up, because if I messed up then I would’ve caused a problem for Tanner. To be able to do this stunt here at X Games and with a long time friend, this feels like a lifetime achievement for me.”