Search Powered ByAsk Jeeves


Install the latest version of Flash Player.
View the games.
January 28, 2007


0-288mph-0 in 20 seconds

Using data from the jet car's telemetry, this reconstruction helps piece together what happened in Richard's accident

So you've seen the crash on the telly. Impressive, huh? But as jaw-dropping as the crash footage is, it doesn't tell the whole story.

Watch video of the accident at

For that, you need a good look at the Vampire's telemetry - it tells a story of the awesome acceleration and terrifying force of the accident.

With exclusive access to this data, we've put together a computer-generated reconstruction to help piece together what happened.

Watch the reconstruction step-by-step as we talk you through every stage of the events leading up to the 288mph crash, or play it through at full speed to appreciate the astonishing acceleration and G-force of the 10,000bhp rocket car.

Yes, 10,000bhp. Without the afterburner, the Vampire develops a mere 5,000bhp - equivalent to five Bugatti Veyrons. But lighting the exhaust gases to create extra thrust doubles the power and turns the jet car into the biggest firework you've ever seen.

"The data from the Vampire jet car's black box gives an incredibly accurate rendering of the entire crash..."

But don't imagine that Richard was just sitting back and letting the thrust carry him. "I was amazed at the amount of steering you have to do," he told us. "I thought the steering wheel was only really there as somewhere to rest your hands... but I found I was twirling the wheel like a rally driver to keep everything on the straight and narrow."

You can see this clearly in the reconstruction. Look at how the car weaves around the centre line as Richard fights to keep the Vampire on the straight and narrow in the strong crosswinds.

The guys who pored over the telemetry said Richard had the reactions of a fighter pilot as he fought the Vampire's blown tyre. Astonishing stuff, but there was nothing he could do when the front right tyre blew.

If that's shaken you up a bit - it certainly did with us - imagine what it was like for Richard. Read how he felt watching the crash in his exclusive blog - and make sure you send a reply.




Search road tests
Search now
Buyer's Guide

You need cash to buy a motor - our guide to finance will help

Buying a personalised plate? Check out our buyer's guide

Subscribe to
Top Gear and
get a FREE 'The Challenges' DVD

Top Gear DVD
Sign up to our newsletter and keep up to speed with Top Gear

Fast-track your motoring career with the help of Top Gear

Top Gear Careers
Get the Top Gear road test verdict on your next car - only £3

Road Test Reprints
The Top Gear word mark and logo are trade marks of the BBC and are used under licence