Typhoon Versus Ferrari On Pure Acceleration

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In Italy last week, a race car and a fighter jet re-created a classic competition -- wheels vs. wings. The match was held in commemoration of a 1931 race between an Alfa Romeo and a Caproni 100 biplane in Rome. In last week's three races, on wet pavement under rainy skies, Michael Schumacher's Ferrari F2003-GA -- the one he drove to his sixth Formula One world title -- lost 2-to-1 against a Eurofighter Typhoon piloted by former Italian astronaut Maurizio Cheli. The Ferrari narrowly won the 600-meter run but was no match to the jet in 900 and 1,200 meters. The F2003-GA is capable of reaching a maximum speed of up to 230 miles per hour, while the Eurofighter tops out at about 1,500 mph (with its wheels up). After completing the distance for each race, the jet took off. "If it weren't for the rain we would have had more grip," Schumacher said after the race, "but, in any case, the result was not important in this race! It was fun watching the plane take off from where I was sitting. ... It was a great event and a unique challenge."