Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace says he effectively “jumped” the Chiron prototype during a recent top speed run at Ehra-Lessien in Germany.
In August, the French firm became the first manufacturer to break the 300 mph barrier, with a "near-production" prototype of the Chiron clocking 490,484 km/h. The company has since “withdrawn” from the so-called speed wars.
Wallace told whichcar.com.au the high-performance vehicle caught some air during the record run, with all four wheels leaving the tarmac.
“There is a surface change [on the straight], and I was calling it a ramp and jump, and everyone was wondering why I was calling it that,” Wallace said, according to the Australian publication.
“That was until they looked at the data, and they realised that it actually is a jump. This occurs at 447 km/h on that fast run.
“It goes from a nice smooth surface, to an older surface. It felt to me inside the cabin that it was all coming off the ground and then coming down.”
Wallace explained his best course of action when approaching the so-called jump was to keep his foot planted.
“You know that surface change is there, and after you have fired yourself off the banking, and the numbers are coming up, you kind of brace yourself for going over this jump,” he said.
“You can’t lift though. In fact, lifting makes this much worse, because then you get a pitch change at the front and it gives you a whole heap of trouble. You are far better off staying flat, which means there is not much you can do about it, you just go with it and hope it is alright.”
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.