Deploying Parachutes While Still Racing! How Much Does it Ruin Laptimes?

I’ve said countless times that the guys at Hoonigan know how to have fun as well or ...

I’ve said countless times that the guys at Hoonigan know how to have fun as well or better than anybody else, and the new Scumbag Labs series is just further proof that these guys have my actual dream job.

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If you haven’t seen the previous episodes, the guys get together on Friday to play The Grand Tour video game and bounce crazy ideas off one another. They do this live on Twitch and let the viewers chime in with ideas for “gadgets”, or things they can include on the cars in the game and in real life, to either make their cars faster or slow down the competition. Think Mario Kart meets real life, sort of.

Last week, the viewers suggested adding parachutes to the cars to slow them down, so the guys decided to add not just one, but a trio of airbrakes to a sporty Chrysler Crossfire to see just how much dragging the laundry would slow down their lap times. To put it mildly, the results were surprising.

After Vin and Hert laid down baseline runs in the car, they each made a lap with one of the chutes out. Not only did it now slow them down, they both actually went quicker. Reckoning that one chute just wasn’t enough to make a difference, they each made a lap with all three of the chutes pulled, and Hert went even faster than he had with one chute, while Vinny still went considerably faster than his baseline lap, but slightly slower than his 1-chute run.

So, instead of being a gadget that slows down the cars, it would appear that running with a trio of parachutes deployed behind the car might actually be a way to make them quicker, at least when you’re dealing with a fairly low powered car on a slower-speed style course. I think things might change a bit on a larger course with areas of higher sustained speeds, although the result of that just might surprise me too. Maybe the guys will test that out for me sometimes on a future episode of Scumbag Labs.


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