Pastrana wants to ring in 2010 with record jump

By BERNIE WILSON (AP)

Red Bull’s New Year, No Limits series is moving from Las Vegas to La-La-Land, and this time it’ll be Travis Pastrana’s turn to try to wow the crowd.

Pastrana will try to break the world record for the longest jump in a car. A handful of Los Angeles landmarks are being considered for the New Year’s Eve stunt by the freestyle motocross star and rally car champion.

Considering that this is the guy who at 15 celebrated an X Games gold medal by jumping his motorcycle into San Francisco Bay, almost anything might go.travisPastrana250px

Pastrana hopes to shatter the record of 171 feet set by his Subaru teammate, Ken Block, in a rally car in November 2006.

“It depends on what venue they chose, but basically we’re going to be jumping well over 200 feet in a car, which should be a lot of fun,” the 25-year-old Pastrana said in a telephone interview, sounding almost giddy. “It’s going to be a good flight. You’ll have enough time for peanuts on this one.”

Pastrana thought it’d be cool to jump over Interstate 5, but Red Bull officials have nixed that idea.

Pastrana, still bruised from a wipeout while trying a new trick on his motorbike at last week’s X Games, said he couldn’t comment on possible venues because of ongoing negotiations.

He said wherever it is, he’s probably going to have to be going 100 mph when he hits the takeoff ramp.

“The goal of this would be to keep the integrity as much as we could and keep as much of a stock vehicle as possible,” he said. “It would have to be something closer to what we run for the rally cars. I’ll definitely like to jump with a roll cage and a little bit stiffer suspension just so it doesn’t just completely explode on impact.”

The Red Bull series has included two death-defying jumps by Australian freestyle motocross star Robbie Maddison in Las Vegas. On New Year’s Eve 2007, Maddison broke the Guinness World Record with a jump of 322 feet, 7 1/2 inches.

Last New Year’s Eve, Maddison pulled off his most spectacular stunt yet when he jumped his bike up 120 feet and landed atop a 96-foot high scale version of the Arc de Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas. He then dropped 50 feet onto a landing ramp and stayed on his bike, although he hit his hand hard, causing a bloody laceration.

Last month, Maddison did a no-handed backflip over the open span on London’s Tower Bridge, a jump also sponsored by Red Bull.

“Maddo has the motorcycle stuff pretty well covered,” Pastrana said. “That guy’s absolutely amazing. Great rider as well as absolutely insane. I mean that in a good way.”

Pastrana knows it might be hard to top Maddison’s jumps.

“But I think we can look at different realms to give a bigger feel and something that really hasn’t been done since Spanky Spangler used to jump cars a long way and land into other cars or land into something soft. We want to do this with some integrity as far as sport goes and try to drive out of this.”

Pastrana will attempt the stunt in a souped-up Subaru WRX. He knows he’ll be under a lot of pressure to put on a good show.

“For the stunt guys, or the athletes, or whatever you want to call us, it’s always difficult to do it live,” he said, noting any number of factors that can go wrong.

“Especially for motorcycles, a sidewind will kill you. But for cars, a frontwind or even a tailwind, you can’t stand up in the thing, so if you go long or short, you’re broken or dead. We’re definitely trying to do something that hasn’t been done for a reason, I guess. But I think we’ve got the technology in the last couple of years and the know-how on jumping things to really pull it off.”

Pastrana’s jump will be shown live on ESPN.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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