The top end of a drag strip is where dreams of winning can be realized, goals can be achieved, and the ultimate thrill of speed can be felt. If you’re lucky enough to drive something that eclipses the 200 MPH mark, the peak moment of speed can be a great natural high. On the downside, the top end is the last place where you want something to go wrong with your race car, and for Paul Mouhayet and the 10.5W Mustang of Moits Racing out of Australia, the nightmare scenario came true. Fortunately, the situation could have been much worse.
Driving a small tire drag car out the back door the full length of the quarter mile is truly an intense ride, and it really takes some serious guts to do so. In August, Mouhayet clocked the fastest speed ever recorded on a set of 10.5W tires when he ran 252.95 MPH, paired with a stout 5.990-second elapsed time. That run was more than 10 MPH ahead of the next fastest 10.5W car in the world. At that kind of speed on that kind of tire, there’s very little margin for error.
Mouhayet and the Moits team were shaking the Mustang down recently before an upcoming race when things went south in a hurry. The car had just clicked off a 6.13 at over 244 MPH when the tire exploded and shredded apart, covering the racing surface in debris from the tire and the body of the car being ripped off. Despite the massive explosion, Mouhayet had the presence of mind to pull the chutes to keep the car straight, and kept it off the wall. Paul posted over on the Yellow Bullet forum that he “felt a shudder like tire shake probably sixty feet before the finish.”
According to the Moits Facebook page, Paul suffered minor injuries and the car looks much worse than it is, with most of the damage done to the carbon fiber body. Check out the video from Fast Performance Videos to see Paul’s great driving job after a top end catastrophe.