Tom Cruise, F1 Champ David Coulthard, and The Formula One Team Hit 181 Miles Per Hour At Willow Springs Raceway…and then, loop a helicopter for good measure…of course!!

Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

UPDATED w/VIDEO 08/25/11 9:30 PDT: Tom racing the Formula One car PLUS Tom executing an “impossible” 360 degree roll in a helicopter!

We were peddle-to-the-metal pumped and feelin’ the need for speed when we heard that Tom was invited to test-drive a Formula One car last week!

Tom took a break in his Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol post-production work to meet up with the team, 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard, and the stunning 2011 F1 Formula One car at the Willow Springs racetrack in Rosamond, California.

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F1 legend David Coulthard, also known as “DC,” who was awarded the MBE by the Queen in 2010,  served as Tom’s instructor for the day. The duo were joined by a 12-person team who were flown in from their UK base to provide crew support.

Tom started his day by lapping the track with David in a passenger car to familiarize himself with the racing lines. In addition to one-on-one instruction from David about the intricacies of the high-performance vehicle, Tom also reviewed the car’s telemetry data with the support team in between circuits.

Suited up in race gear and looking for a brief moment like a reincarnation of his ‘Days of Thunder’ character, ‘Cole Trickle,’ Tom reached a top speed of 181 miles per hour as he drove the 850-horsepower Formula One car around the 2.5-mile track 24 times. (That was just four miles per hour under Formula One racing great David Coulthard’s top speed!)

They were also able to compare David and Tom’s lap information and by the final 24th lap, Tom had improved his time by almost 11 seconds from his initial lap.

After the seven-hour session, David said…

“Tom’s the real deal. I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver. His recall was incredible considering how complicated driving an F1 car is. He’s a guy who really pushes the envelope in real life. This day was not green screened. And he thoroughly impressed me.”


As the team here at we know that Tom grew up with a love for racing…cars, airplanes, bikes, it was always something he wanted to do and according to a July 13, 1987 People magazine article, Tom made his debut as a professional driver in a Nissan 300ZX, borrowed from a driving school, to compete in the 300 kilometer Road Atlanta Kuppen-heimer Camel GT Challenge. His competition in the three-hour endurance race included his ‘The Color of Money’ co-star, Paul Newman.
On the lighter side of Tom’s love of everything auto racing, Tom and ‘Knight and Day’ co-star Cameron Diaz set track records racing an economy car, (If you can believe that!), on hit British car-lover show, ‘Top Gear.’

Willow Springs Google Maps

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  • Wawawa

    This is super cool !!!

  • Aline Alves

    i love you tom cruise

  • Michael McQueen

    Takes me back to Days of Thunder  as Cole Trickle

  • TechInsane

    Mr Cruise,

    Why not drive a f1 Mclaren instead? and picture of Lewis and Jenson?

  • Carolyn Marion

    Love this page thx Mr. Cruise and team TC…Aloha Carolyn

  • Carolyn Marion

    I also love the multiple projects going at all nice .It is great that Mr. Cruise makes all this info avaliable ! Thanks …One more thing- Congraulations Mr. Cruise for the amazing feat of 181 mph !!!!!!!!! 4 miles under David Coulthards top speed is Insaine Sir !!!!!!!!! Hurray once again for Mr. Cruise – I think Paul Newman would be very proud !  Aloha No A Hui Hoe…. Carolyn Marion

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  • Avictorblanco

    Hello, Tomy!
    I am one of these cool fans that never forget a star. Read this: YOU ARE THE ONE, NOBODY LIKE YOU IN CINEMA, YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A HEROE.  YOU ARE already it (in our memories, your awards, nominations, films, plays,…).

  • Alex Dagoberto Monares Olea

    wow!..congratulations! …driving a F1 god!!!..I’m from Brazil, my name is Alex Monares Olea , I am Chilean citizen, I live in São paulo, Brazil. I am your admirer for her work as an actor.

  • NoOneAcUallYCaRes

    Why,I just don’t get it but if your having fun doing it,more power to you

  • Lopa_khan07

    I Love U<3

  • Evacecchi

    always you are the best!!!!

  • Evacecchi

    tom you are the best!!!!always!!!

  • Ngoc Yen

    i want to be a success like Tom can he come over difficult in life? which influent he has?^^

  • Salome Dantec

    FIne ! You are always  the best even longer after Top gun .
    I am  women but racer . DOUBLE  CHAMPION OF FRANCE.
    I know exactly your mind  when you drive  this machine . YOU are the best and I am the best
    this is our common point . SALOME DANTEC

  • Teressa

    that was totally cool


    Keep it up,Tom.

  • Bruneau Christine

    BRAVO TOM !!!!!!  congratulations for driving a Formula one !!! it’s fantastic , it’s great !!!! cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Charlotte Jordan

    That was sooo cool to watch! Tom did an outstanding job! Tom’s presents out here in the high desert ‘Willow Springs Raceway’ made for an exciting day! He not only very talented he so down to earth and kind. Love you always!

  • David O

    Tom, you are fantastic.  In the world of cinema, there is no one like you.  You inspire people and you live life to the fullest.  One day it would be a dream to meet you to listen to you talk about your life experiences.  In the meantime, I will just keep enjoying your movies.

  • Robin Ward

    Gotta love everything Tommy does! He is a true class act and a super nice guy so I am told. keep it coming Tommy!

  • diana

    I love the races also this is diana
    get Tom!