Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian who jumped to Earth from the edge of space in October 2012, is starting a new career as a race driver for Audi.
He plans first to get a racing licence, then kick things off in the Nurburgring 24 Hours, a gruelling race on the world’s scariest race track.
According to Audi, the 44-year-old extreme athlete will be a guest entrant in the race. His teammates will include Frank Biela and Marco Werner, who have eight wins at Le Mans between them.
Baumgartner will drive an Audi R8 LMS, a $US440,000 race car with 570 horsepower. He’s being trained by former professional rally driver Josef “Sepp” Haider, who now directs the Audi race experience, made for Audi customers who want to try out racing.
In a press release, Baumgartner acknowledged this is a new challenge: “During initial tests in the road-going Audi R8 I got to know the Nürburgring, and in the Audi R8 LMS ultra I’ve clocked a few kilometers on various tracks as well,” he said.
“I regard this task as one of the major projects in my life. The environment is perfect, the atmosphere is fantastic, and I feel really well taken care of by the Audi race experience. But it’s also clear that I’m basically starting from scratch because this sport is new for me.”
The Nurburgring 24 Hours is June 21-22, so we’ll have to wait a few months to see how the experience of falling from space at the speed of sound compares to roaring around a track.
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