The last place you’d want to be in is inside this car

Street racing can be fun and exhilarating, but it can also be dangerous. It only takes one thing to go wrong for Murphy’s Law to kick in, and the last place you’d want to be in is inside a car when that happens. A pair of street racers found that out first-hand when the heavily souped-up 1,100-horsepower Audi RS3 they were in caught fire while they were running at 150 mph.

Worse, the fire quickly burned through the RS3’s brake lines and e-brakes and the drag parachute couldn’t be deployed, leaving them in a state of helplessness as thick smoke started to come out of the A/C vents. Yes, street racing can be fun and exhilarating, but it only takes one thing to turn that rush into all-around terror.

How did this nightmare of a scene start?

The video, provided by 1320 Video on YouTube, starts like most street racing videos. We get a tour of the protagonists, which, in this case, are the souped-up cars that will be participating in the race. There’s a McLaren 720S, a 1,250-horsepower Nissan GT-R, a 1,100-horsepower Audi RS3, and a host of other performance cars that have likely received aftermarket upgrades of their own.

The race starts and the RS3 destroys the 720S without so much a sweat. It also beats out the GT-R and all seems fine and randy dandy.
An Audi RS3 Rolling Down the Road, On Fire Is the Scariest Thing You'll See This Week
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It isn’t until the four-minute mark of the video when trouble starts for the 1,100-horsepower RS3. The sports sedan catches fire as it was still going at 150 mph. The engine immediately dies and, worse, the brake lines get torched, too, leaving the driver and his cameraman trapped inside a car that was, at this point, still clocking three-digit mph speeds.

Panic starts to take over when the e-brake also doesn’t work and the drag parachute that’s supposed to be the last resort for braking can’t be deployed. The scene goes on for a few minutes as the driver and the cameraman argue on what to do with the burning RS3. Fortunately, they did manage to slow down the burning sedan long enough for them to get out before the flames leap out from under the hood and swallow the Audi’s entire front section. Both the driver and the cameraman escaped with their lives, but, needless to say, the RS3 was scorched beyond repair.

What happened to the Audi RS3 that caused it to go up in flames?

An Audi RS3 Rolling Down the Road, On Fire Is the Scariest Thing You'll See This Week
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It was later discovered that the fire was caused by a disconnected brake line that squirted fluid over the heated brakes, causing it to ignite and melt everything within its vicinity, including the brake lines. You don’t need to be a genius with cars to understand that there’s not much turning back when it goes up in flames. While it doesn’t always happen, the chances of it happening rises when the car is subjected to the kind of strain that happens when it’s running close to its limit. Street racing can do that to a car. Just ask these two people who fortunately lived to tell the ordeal of being stuck in a burning Audi RS3 that was running close to its factory top speed with no brakes to slow it down.

Should I still participate in street racing?

An Audi RS3 Rolling Down the Road, On Fire Is the Scariest Thing You'll See This Week
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Other than the fact that street racing is largely illegal in the U.S., the dangers that come out of it — lack of safety relative to sanctioned races — are too great to justify participating in one. Sure, a lot of drivers will still partake in street racing so long as they don’t get caught. It’s a subculture of urban racing that’ll never go away, and while that is true to an extent, so are the perils that come with it. Need more proof? Watch this video over and over until it starts sinking in.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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