Definitely don't try this at home.
Here’s our massive disclaimer for this video. Do not watch this, then go down the street with your 25-year-old lowered econobox and decide you’re going to channel the spirit of Colin McRae while launching off a railroad crossing. Yes, we’re doing an article on this video but that’s because it’s interesting, and informative, and a bit fun. The video talks about jumps in the context of racing, and to be more specific, stage rally where such thing occur. So please, hoon responsibly.
That being said, let’s jump (pun totally intended) into this public service announcement from the folks at Team O’Neil Rally School about attacking small jumps, larger jumps, and mid-corner jumps. Sure, you can just floor the accelerator and launch off a crest to catch some air, and it might even be fun. It may not be the best way to attack such terrain, however, and it could also leave you dealing with some unexpected consequences if you’re not prepared ahead of time. Getting a car airborne is easy, but landing and continuing to the next crest is a bit more involved.
Gallery: Jumping A Car
The primary message here is to start slow and composed. Having the car straight and stable before launching from a crest generally means you’ll land straight and stable, and practice runs (in a closed, secure location not on public streets of course) should start slow. As the jumps get larger and speeds go higher, the same principles apply, albeit amplified. As for corners, the video recommends avoiding those jumps if possible, but in a racing environment that isn’t always possible. The key for these tricky crests is to plan ahead and find the right racing line that will keep you on the road when the car lands.
These tips sound pretty straightforward, but the real value in this tutorial lies with the things you shouldn't do. Weight transfer can make cars nose dive should the driver panic and hit the brakes just before a crest, so yeah, flat-out is the word here. Similarly, front-heavy front-wheel-cars will tend to nose dive regardless, so the technique there is to slow well before the crest then punch the gas before taking off. As for sticking the landing, it's best to lift off the gas in street-based rally cars while in the air, as stock drivetrain components don’t take well to the sudden shock of hitting solid ground while the wheels are free-spinning and under power in the air.
See? We told you there was some good information here. Now, head off to your nearest rally school to work on these techniques.