Specific Type: Steel, X-Car, HBX 2000
Since the park began to boom in the 1980s, Drayton Manor has long maintained a fairly small collection of relatively tame coasters. In the 80s, the park added the Jumbo Jet, Super Dragon, Python Looping Coaster, and Buffalo Mountain Coaster, all fairly standard model attractions at parks worldwide. The first major coaster the park got was the stand-up Shockwave from Intamin AG in 1994, and added the Klondike Gold Mine coaster the next year. In 2004, the Klondike Gold Mine made its departure for the collection, but it was making way for a more thrilling addition.
For the 2005 season, Project X, as it was originally called, began taking shape at Drayton Manor, a £2,500,001 project. Like other coasters at the park, the new addition would have to be fairly small to stay below the treeline and keep up the natural beauty of the park, but owner’s also wanted an additional kick in the thrill department. Maurer Sohne of Germany was brought in, and with them they brought their fairly new X-Car coaster concept, a ride that could help deliver the promised thrills in a tight, compact, twisted layout. Other than the prototype X-Car coaster, Sky Wheel at Skyline Park in Germany, G Force (as it was renamed before opening), would become only the second coaster of its kind worldwide, and remains the only in the UK.
A train consists of two cars, each seating three rows of two people, and featuring a special “hip” restraint rather than over the shoulder restraints to allow more freedom for upper body movement. The trains roll to the left out of the station, drop down, and rise up into a uniquely shaped lift hill. Called a Humpty Bump Lift, the unconventional lift climbs up at a steep angle, then pulls over and inverts riders like the top of a loop before releasing the inverted vehicles. At 82 ft up, fully inverted, the chain releases and the cars roll down and out through a half loop that pulls up into a steep, abrupt camelback hump. Riders are then rocketed through a “Bent Cuban Eight,” a double inversion that can only be described as two bent and twisted immelman inversions connected back to back. Out of the Bent Cuban Eight and back to ground level, the track bends to the left where it rises and falls through a sharp, swooping fan curve through the initial lift and drop. Continuing the leftward bend, the track banks more heavily and rises up into the final brake run. The ride is short, but it packs a quick little punch in a compact layout that fits well at Drayton Manor.
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