The 6 Best Leap Day Leaps
Take to the air on leap day with a few of our favorite motorsports jumps.
Stitching together a couple of fast, icy corners, Norway's Eyvind Brynildsen finds fifth gear in his WRC Fiesta R5 and buries the hammer. He cracks 100mph just as he hits the top of Colin's Crest, sending the little car flying for nearly 150ft...
Happy Leap Year!
Today is Leap Day, the bonus round of February we get every four years to balance out the calendar. It's the perfect time to go wheels up over any one of our favorite motorsports jumps.
Flugplatz, the Nürburgring
You spend a lot of time flying around the Green Hell, as best experienced by Jackie Stewart taking to the air in his BRM in the days before aerodynamics would pin the cars to the ground. “Flugplatz” translates to “airport” in German, and you can carry enough speed in a fast passenger car to find some daylight beneath the wheels. Our own Josh Condon had a go at it in a tuned Focus RS.
“Watching in-car video, Flugplatz doesn't look like much—a straightforward run over a medium crest. Tackling it for the first time behind the wheel felt like jumping a car off a mountain; the mix of exhilaration and mild panic when your ass levitates off the seat, the red-and-white barrier rushing towards the windshield as your front tires dangle useless as spares, waiting endlessly for the catch of rubber on road." —Josh Condon
Stadium Super Trucks
Are you not entertained? Well, you should be. Taking Baja-ready, long-travel-suspension trucks and setting them loose on a racing circuit filled with giant ramps is basically some kind of grown-up Mario Kart. You'd have to be crazy not to want to get behind the wheel of one of these pogo-ing beasts.
“Launching off that ramp took far more balls than I imagined it would. It was a leap of faith every time, a certainty of calamity whenever it left the ramp. Don't know how those nutjobs do it. I should say, that, I did some off-road racing with motorcross like tracks. Can't explain why, but the ramp on pavement had this Evel Knievel feel to it. And we all know how he ended up. Irrational, right?” —Larry Webster, Hagerty
Micky's Jump, WRC Sardinia
Of all the jumps in the WRC, Micky's Jump is probably the most spectacular. Fans trek for hours into the baking Sardinian countryside then hunker down on the far side of the hill and wait for the airshow to start.
With a straight run to the top of the hill, which looks like peaked roof of a house, everybody gets a chance to fly. Average distances traveled through the air are regularly further than 140 feet, and the cars seem to hang in the air, the camera chopper chasing them over the ridge on what looks like the same flight path. Worth the hike.
The Cadwell Park Jump – British Superbikes
You'd expect the superbike world to have some unique airborne lunacy, and you'd not be disappointed. Asked to pick out his favorite, our own Chris Cantle gave a nod to the Isle of Man TT's various wide-open-throttle humps, like Crosby Jump, but also pointed out the lesser-know Cadwell Park as one of the truly massive jumps.
"It's insane: an uphill leap that sees the riders twisting their bikes sideways to try to get into position and forcing the rear wheel back down on track. They fly at an angle, trying to set up for the next corner, all while jockeying for position in a cutthroat wheel-to-wheel race." —Chris Cantle
Crosby Jump - Isle of Man TT
"The jump at Ballaugh Bridge gets all the love. It's in a village, near a pub. And it's mean, a big leap over an old road bridge and a stream. But you slow for it, give yourself time to set up. The Crosby jump? You take it wide open, and when you get light at that speed it really seems like you're never coming down." —CC
"Rang 5" jump – Rallye Baie des Chaleurs
Lest you think all the best leaps to be made are on the European circuit, there's plenty of air to be had in North American rallies. Rallying here is less of a glitzy affair than the well-funded WRC circuit but that gives it a grassroots appeal—and the drivers reward the fans for showing support. The final jump of the Rally Baie des Chaleurs is a great place to set up for the end of your day, as the teams leave it all on the table.
“Lots of spectators, the jump is at the finish line so people go pretty big. Pat 'Rocket' Richard is legend for having finished that jump several times on 3 wheels.” - Warwick Patterson, WRC Cameraman