Ben Collins became the first driver ever to wrestle a car down the longest downhill route in the world, the Inferno Murren.
Inferno Murren is the longest, craziest downhill ski race in the world. The course drops 7,119 feet (2,170 metres) from Piz Gloria at the top of the Schilthorn, down to the town of Murren, Switzerland, covering 9.25 miles (14.9 kilometres).
One moment the course is wide, open, and incredibly fast. The next it’s tight, twisty, and incredibly dangerous. Get it wrong and it could be the last mistake you ever make. Get it right, and you will be ranked among the greats. Though just making it to the bottom in one piece is a massive achievement.
You need to be extremely brave to tackle the run on skis. You need to be borderline insane to tackle it in a car, as stunt driver and former Stig, Ben Collins, has, becoming the first driver ever to do so.
Collins used a Range Rover Sport for the attempt, complete with a 510 horsepower, 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 motor. It was completely stock, too, apart from a full roll cage, race seat and harness, and stronger tires.
Rather than the deep snow pack that covers the route during the Inferno race, Collins and the Range Rover Sport faced snow, ice, loose rock, mud, broken asphalt, grass, and gravel. None of which is ideal when charging headlong down slopes as steep as 75 percent, at speeds up to 96 miles per hour (154 kilometres per hour).
“This was genuinely one of the hardest tests I’ve faced in my driving career,” Collins said. “The route was insane and certainly the toughest course I’ve ever completed. It was about as bad as its gets - torrential weather mixed with cliffs, trees, all kinds of stuff you don’t really want to crash into.
“The Range Rover Sport gave me so much help. I had to use the Terrain Response because the grass was like an ice rink and it really got me out of trouble. I believed in the car and it meant we could shed a lot of time over the runs. I couldn’t have asked for a better machine to do the job.”
Collins completed the run in 21 minutes 36 seconds.
Here’s a look behind the scenes.
And here’s a skier’s-eye-view of the run.
This isn't the first crazy test Land Rover has put the Range Rover Sport through. In 2013 it became the fastest production SUV ever to tackle the Pikes Peak hillclimb.