Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some excellent high speed driving

Back in the mid 1990s, Manchester, England was the car crime capital of Europe with 800 cars being stolen every week. The response of the police was to start the small tactical vehicle crime unit or 'X-Squad' and equip them with what were, at the time, very high performance cars.

In this video, a couple of young officers in a Ford Sierra Cosworth are on patrol in one part of the City when they hear about a chase on the other side of town.

The police are so undermanned, that they are forced (damn!) to drive at high speed across town to intercept the punk, so they can get ahead of him and get a stinger (stop strip) under his tires. (In the US stolen cars get pursued by a dozen squad cars. During the night, there are probably no more than a couple of dozen officers covering the whole of Manchester)

At one point they get the Cossie up to 135 MPH on the motorway and you can hear the driver say f a driver up ahead "if he pulls out, we're dead!" which is an interesting take on the reality of high speed driving and something you'd never hear from the police now. The UK police now only let officers speak on camera if they are 'on message' and have had training from the media relations department. But with these two it's the real deal.

The Cosworth Sierra is just a 2 litre 4 cylinder car, but it's very highly tuned with a turbo and will deliver close to 150MPH flat out. You have to really know what you are doing to drive one at speed, because it predates all the electronic stability and traction control stuff they have now. I believe these guys are in the four wheel drive version. Sit back and listen to the awesome rasp it delivers under acceleration.

Finally: what a brilliant job for a couple of lads barely out of their teens! I'd pay them for a job like that!

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