April 21, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Last friday 20 April there was an exciting encounter between the world of Formula One and military aviation at the Royal Netherlands air force base, Volkel.
Christiaan Albers is the driver of the Spyker F1 F8-VII who raced agains a Dutch F16AM at Volkel AFB on April 20th, 2007. [Photo by Mike Schoenmaker]
During this exclusive meeting, Formula One driver Christijan Albers raced his Spyker F8-VII F1 challenger against air force pilot Ralph "Sheik" Staal's F-16 fighter jet.
This publicity event, named 'Full Throttle', has been organised by the Royal Netherlands
Air Force to raise awareness of their recruitment program. They also wanted to demonstrate the commonalities and differences of the Formula One and the contemporary Royal Netherlands Air Force. Adventurous, disciplined and professional, trained to perform at the highest level.
The Formula One car just lost out to the power of the F-16 (#J-055
) during the race.
Although the Spyker F8-VII was fastest over the first 300 metres, it was out-accelerated by the plane in the closing metres. At the finish line, the plane beat Christijan Albers by just two car lengths.
"It was a tight race," said Albers. "For the first 300 metres 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.
The number eight in F8-VII refers to the number of cylinders of Spyker's Ferrari engine (2400cc V8) - the same rationale as used with road-going Spykers. The VII (7) sub-designation refers to Spyker's days as an aircraft manufacturer where all models were denoted by Roman numerals and stood for the year the aircraft was launched. Hence the F8-VII is the Spyker F line with eight cylinders in 2007.
The Spyker team holds historical ties with the Royal Netherlands Air Force; back in 1913, the first commander of the air force drove a Spyker car and from 1915 the air force flew seven Farman F22
planes, built under licence by Spyker. Today Spyker still uses air force concepts to build its GT cars, known as the Spyker Squadron. The logo of Spyker also holds an air plane propeller.
In September 2006 the Belgian F-16 pilot Michael "Mickey" Artiges beat a Dodge Viper and a Honda CBR 1000RR in a similar race. The Dodge completed 1,000 meter in 22 seconds, the Honda motorbike in 18 seconds while the F-16 only needed 17 seconds.
A small comparison: by the time the F-16 pilot crossed the finish line, the Dodge Viper only completed 597m while the Honda completed 892m.