Tonight Travis Pastrana will set out to write a new chapter in motorsports history as he attempts to drive a Subaru Rally car up a ramp and into the record books at the Red Bull: New Year. No Limits event.

The 26-year-old extreme sports star is aiming to break the distance record of 171 feet for a ramp-to-ramp jump, and he’s planning on adding more than a mere few feet to that record. He will jump his specially prepared Subaru WRX STi rally car off the Pine Avenue pier in Long Beach California and over 250 feet (98 metres) of Pacific Ocean to land on a floating barge…

Many of us have seen Travis at the annual Race of Champions event, where he’s proven himself against drivers such as Colin McRae and Michael Schumacher. He holds four consecutive Rally America championships, nine X Games gold medals, performed the first double back-flip on a motorcycle and is also one of the nicest guys in motorsport.

“At the beginning of the year, Red Bull asked all its athletes to come up with something for New Years” said Travis “. . . and I thought, ‘You know what? Nobody’s really tried to push the boundaries of jumping a car since back in the early ’80s. I said, why don’t we do it off a pier. OK, what do we land on. A floating barge was kind of Red Bull’s idea, the final icing on the cake.”

When asked if there is anything that scares him, Travis went on to say, “Oh, yeah. Most people in our field are very overconfident, so you always believe you can do more than you can. But the fear is what makes it exciting, what keeps you on your toes. People that are truly fearless, they’ll be hurt before they ever get good enough to do it. People that have a lot of fear or over-rationalize things will never push themselves far enough.”

Tonight’s event will be broadcast live on ESPN (8PM pacific time/11PM eastern time), but for those of us outside the US, Red Bull have been kind enough to upload a few videos of Travis’ preparation and practice for the big event.

Good luck Travis. Erm. DON’T break a leg…

Video 2: Pastrana visits the jump site

Video 3: Pastrana’s first practice for the New Years Jump

Photos and videos: Red Bull

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