The Spyker F8-VII is no match to an F-16

Backmarker team Spyker pulled the oldest trick in the book by challenging an F-16 fighter jet to a drag race. The one-on-one duel, attended by over 10,000 fans, guests and media representatives, was consumed last Friday at the Volkel air base in southern Netherlands.

Dutch driver Christijan Albers, behind the wheel of a 700-bhp Spyker F8-VII Formula 1 car, easily won over a straight line 300-metre distance, taking full advantage of the superior acceleration of his single-seater, but over the final 700-metre duel the F-16 just pulled ahead to win the tight race by only two car lengths.

"It was a tight race, for the first 300m all I could see was the plane in my mirrors, but then he just accelerated past me and off into the distance - it was incredible! I'd never been close to an F16, or even sat in one, so it was really interesting to compare the performance of the two."

Reaching a speed of 450kph by the end of the straight, the F-16 completed the course in just 15.5secs. Following his narrow victory, Royal Netherlands Air Force pilot Ralph Aarts performed a spectacular flying display over the air base. Captain Aarts is one of the RNLAF's most experienced F-16 pilots, with 1,100 flying hours under his belt, including in operational missions in Afghanistan.

Due to the tremendously high G-forces they experience, racing drivers are often compared to fighter jet pilots. And so are their cars. The first known stand-up between a car and a plane happened on December 8, 1931, when iconic driver of the 30s Tazio Nuvolari, on board an Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 single-seater, was defeated by a Caproni 100 aircraft.

In 1981, history repeated itself when Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari 126 beat an F-104 plane in a 1,000m race. In the late 90s, another Canadian driver, Patrick Carpentier, challenged an F-14 Tomcat with his CART Champ Car single-seater in the United States.

The most recent F1 car vs. fighter jet duel was staged in December 2003, between a Ferrari F2003-GA driven by Grand Prix legend Michael Schumacher and a Eurofighter Typhoon jet aircraft on the Baccarini airport in Grosseto, Italy. Schumacher won over a 600-metre distance that favoured the swift acceleration of the single-seater, touching a terminal velocity of 294 km/h, but lost over the 900 and 1200-metre distance.
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