C4 Citroen gets massive air!

A recent jump by Novikov in his C4 Citroen shook the rally world as he became almost perpendicular midway through the jump. Landing on his rear bumper, the car's nose luckily was forced back down to the ground to continue the course. This is a prime example of how not to jump a rally car. Jumping the car is fun, but it does nothing for time and team budget. A jump like this can cause thousands of dollars in damage and wrench time.

What did he do wrong? Simply too much speed combined with an improper launch sent the nose upward catching the air. At the speed he was traveling, the air pressure was enough to cause so much lift that it over powered the weight of the vehicle. This wild nose lift could have been offset by depressing the brakes and converting the wheel inertia into a useful force to level the vehicle. Too many drivers lack the understanding of physics and how the vehicle reacts. By keeping the gas depressed, the vehicle will continue on it's original trajectory determined by the launch angle.

Manipulating the spinning inertia of the wheels to your liking can provide a much more satisfactory jump. This must be decided in a fraction of a second and only drivers with the correct instinct can navigate a jump correctly. One of the most glorious moments in rally, but also the most dangerous if incorrectly managed. The only two drivers that I know with a proper jumping instinct is Ken Block, and Colin Mcrae. Check out some of their jump footage and you will see what I'm talking about!

Video content: Novikov's C4 Citroen jump

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Source: Tampa Sports Car Examiner

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