The Mercedes A 45 AMG is the epitome of performance, control and expression – essential attributes shared with extreme downhill skateboarding.
In a beautifully filmed video, pitting man against machine, these unlikely four-wheeled allies tango at high-speed on the majestic Franschhoek Pass in the Western Cape.
Decio Lourenco – a 24-year-old graphic design student by day and champion downhill skateboarder by night took on a challenge to ride alongside Mercedes-Benz’s new pocket rocket.
Decio’s passion for his sport extends to a point few of us would dare to go: hurtling down steep hills at speeds in excess of 100km/h, with considerably fewer safety features than the average Mercedes-Benz.
Some might call it sheer insanity, but in over a decade of countless high-speed descents, a ‘pretty bad roastie’ is the worst injury he’s had.
And it’s no dumb luck. Like his counterpart in the video, Decio’s ability to hug hard tarmac turns at improbable speeds and unnatural angles is the result of years of practice – that never-ending ritual that fuels our passions.
Behind the wheel was former pro racing driver Robbi Smith, the go-to-guy for jobs involving cars where perfection is a prerequisite.
Having been involved in stunt and precision driving for over 25 years, Robbi has featured in more than 1 200 vehicle television commercials – including a couple for Mercedes-Benz.
No stranger to the Franschhoek Pass, Robbi relished the opportunity to put the A 45 AMG through its paces, and was consistently blown away by the capability of this pocket rocket.
With the pass closed for shooting by traffic officials, he probably had the most ideal testing ground imaginable.
Similarly, Decio basked in the rare opportunity of having an entire mountain pass as his playground, carving, bombing and sliding his way down with a playful abandon that belies immense concentration.
Over three days on the magnificent Franschhoek Pass, an enthusiastic crew from Bring Back Choirboy pulled out all the stops to capture this speed-of-light ballet.
Their arsenal included extreme slow-motion cameras, helmet-cams, car mounts, remote-controlled drones filming from the air, plus cameramen on skateboards weaving between man and machine.
Aside from some badly chewed fingernails on the safety and medical crew’s side, the shoot went off without a hitch and yielded some breathtaking sequences.
To watch the video, click here