Controlling a car at the limit is one of the hardest skills to master. These commenter-chosen videos show some of the most spine-tingling examples of expert drivers doing just that.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our Jalopnik summer feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Photo Credit:Formula Uno
10.) Russ Swift
Suggested By: Crossdrilled
Why It's Awesome: This clip, from Jeremy Clarkson's Heaven and Hell special, features Precision Driving Champion (they have a championship for that?) Russ Swift systematically and precisely disassembling a Metro, from the inside. Carefully sliding past and just barely hitting posts in an indoor parking garage, Mr. Swift takes off doors, bumpers and mirrors, while keeping the car drivable. Clarkson follows in his own special way.
Photo credit: Youtube
Suggested By:<\/strong> jip1080<\/a><\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> There are times during this clip I when I'm amazed there aren't strings pulling the Caterham along. Or a big pole stuck vertically through the middle of the car, which it rotates around. The sharp precision with which this Caterham's pilot spins and flicks his car is mind-blowing. He's like an automotive surgeon, deftly slicing and dicing his way around a body of traffic cones, except surgeons don't have to do their thing backwards at 20 or 30 miles an hour.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> Dean Evans, behind the wheel of his Lotus Elise (and accompanied briefly by highly appropriate tunes from Jet) demonstrates the right way to get from mid-pack to the front of the line. He's braking later, turning harder and just generally being more exciting than anyone else out on the track. Bathurst's intense elevation changes and blind corners make this no easy feat. Throughout the video, it almost looks like a video game, and Mr. Evans is easily outbraking the computer players. He makes it look too easy.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> "Just watch this for a breathtaking display of forceful driving." You're right, Mr. Announcer. Patrick Snijers and his 1988 BMW M3 rally car take no prisoners at the Manx Rally on the Isle of Man. He's executing steering corrections in mid-air<\/em> at one point, then coming down and landing hard, only to pitch the car sideways a split second later, and disappear out of the frame. We've all seen quick rally stage drivers before, but Snijers seems to take it to a whole other level. He's incredibly accurate, never putting a wheel out of place, but on a razor's edge of control.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> This lap, from the 1978 Montreal Grand Prix, shows Patrick Depallier attempting to drive his Tyrrell 008 along what appears to be a race track-shaped mirror. If you thought modern-day Formula 1 drivers had a hard time in the rain, just watch a couple of minutes of this. Depallier manages to keep the car on the track, despite having inferior rain tires and somewhere around 500 horsepower from his Ford Cosworth DFV V8 trying at every opportunity to throw him into the weeds.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> Like a rocket ship on takeoff, the speed at which Monster Tajima leaps out of the gate and starts attacking Pikes Peak is outrageous. The fact that he keeps most of it the whole way up is even cooler. He's almost as fast on the gravel and dirt as he is on the tarmac further down the hill, but no less balls-out. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> We return to the Isle of Man, now in 1983, for a little Ari Vatanen. My favorite part of Mr. Vatanen's Opel Manta flogging is is co-driver. "Flat left maybe and flat right maybe, 30, easy left maybe!" Maybe?! Ari Vatanen has your life in his hands, and the best your pace notes can give him is a maybe<\/em>? That all said, the two of them remain remarkably calm while speeding through the countryside, and Vatanen again shows us why he is one of the best.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> "I have everything I need right here. In this bag. Goggles, leather gloves, helmet." And then, speed. El Maestro takes to the streets of Monte Carlo in a Lancia D50 and shows us the proper way around that legendary track. Notice as he shoots up the hill, that there are still regular cars parked on the track. Later, when the clip switches moods and goes all slow-mo and dramatic, we get outstanding views of Fangio four-wheel drifting the D50. No one drove like him, and most likely, no one ever will again.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> Here, at Donington Park in the rain in 1993, Ayrton Senna goes from fifth to first on the opening lap. He's driving as though it were dry, faking out the drivers ahead of him and diving down the inside on more than one occasion. Perhaps most impressive is his move on Karl Wendlinger on the outside of one of the Craner Curves. In the dry it's a gutsy move, but in the wet it's just nuts. Senna makes it stick, and would go on to win the European Grand Prix by more than one minute.<\/p>
Why It's Awesome:<\/strong> The fight between Arnoux and Villeneuve is one of the most memorable in Formula 1 history. Their fight for second place in the 1979 French Grand Prix is the stuff of legend. They traded positions seemingly dozens of times leading up to the end of the race, sometimes touching wheels and locking up under braking, but always exhibiting outstanding car control. Keeping one Formula 1 car on the track is hard enough, but two racing at ten-tenths, side-by-side? Just insane.<\/p>