Back in 2014 we had the privilege of following Felix Baumgartner as he prepared for the drive of his life at the Nurburgring 24hr.
Felix was learning to drive the super fast Audi R8 LMS ultra in just three months! And needless to say, he needed to bring his A-game to the mighty Grüne Holle!
In preparation for our trip we thought it best to kindly decline the flights Audi offered us and drove down from the UK in a Audi R8 V10 S tronic. Whilst not the LMS ultra, the V10 S tronic is a true supercar featuring the seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox which replaces the older and slower changing R. The old R8 will hit 60mph in 3.4 seconds and will carry on to 195mph, but only if you’re on private roads or the Autobahn. With the arrival of the new R8, the outgoing V10 represents great value for money.
Our 7hr 433mile drive gave us some of the feelings that would be rushing through Felix’s head has he tackled the Nurburgring, just at a slower more comfortable pace. There’s no denying that the R8 is a supercar but it is also an exceptionally good GT car, in full automatic mode miles are covered with ease, the cabin is spacious and the seats comfortable but it’s all about that gorgeous V10 noise which is addictive.
But that’s enough about the R8 we drove, lets talk about Felix. Felix, as Im sure you are aware, jumped from a helium balloon into the stratosphere on 14 October 2012 for the Red Bull Stratos project. He skydived a record breaking 24 miles (39 km) and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent, which is frankly mind boggling.
For his next challenge Felix decided to learn the fearsome curves of the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Over three months he entered VLN races, took part in setup runs, entered a qualification race and then entered more VLN races until June 21st 2014 when the flag dropped on one of the toughest car races in the world.
Audi partnered Felix with a really strong driver line up, five-time Le Mans winner Frank Biela (D), the three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner (D) and the GT and sports car pro Pierre Kaffer (D).
So, with three months to go we chatted to Felix at the Nordschleife.