The Le Mans-winning Audi R10 TDI came within a tenth of a second of beating a Harrier GR7 jet in a race at RAF Wittering in Lincolnshire yesterday (6 July).
With driver Allan McNish at the wheel, the R10 sped along a runway adjacent to the Harrier’s in a one-kilometre race from a standing start.
The 5.4-litre R10, which last month became the first diesel-engined sports car to win Le Mans, was quicker off the line and faster to 150mph, but the Harrier, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Pete Keenlyside beat the Audi to the kilometre mark before taking off in a vertical climb.
"I had a practice run against the Harrier moments before the race and came very close to beating it,” said McNish. "When a racing driver and a pilot get together it quickly becomes serious.”
The R10 was not modified for the race – and neither was the Harrier.
Come back next week for video footage of the race.