How in the world does a marsupial get a driver’s license anyway?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to race Crash Bandicoot for the podium in real life? To celebrate the launch of Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled, Activision decided to make that dream a reality at a star-studded event held inside Canada’s Wonderland.

Four racers and I were given the opportunity to race against Crash himself to try and claim the CTR championship. Our motley crew was put behind super-charged go-karts while amped up on energy drinks and wumpa fruit, and unleashed on the track. Best of all? The entire racetrack was branded to Crash Team Racing—signature Crash crates and all! While we all came from different walks of life, we were united by one goal: to beat Crash Bandicoot on the race track.

Crash Team Racing: In Real Life


Crash Team Racing June 17 Wonderland

To prove how serious this race was, I was pitted against two WWE Superstars—Tyler “Prince Pretty” Breeze and Johnny “Wrestling” Gargano—along with Marissa “Turbo” Roberto and Camille “Slingshot” Salazar-Hadaway. And of course Crash Bandicoot himself was out to win it all.

So, a bandicoot, two WWE wrestlers and three gaming influencers walked onto a racetrack and… OK, I’m still trying to think of a punchline, but it’s coming. All joking aside, the competition was fierce come race time.

Who would take home the big prize…?

Who’s taking the podium?


Crash Team Racing June 17

The race was a dramatic affair: it had to have been, as we needed to walk through a smoky tunnel straight out of WWE before entering our karts. I have to say, we totally nailed it!

Each of us wanted the championship and were ready to put it all on the line for glory, but all roads to victory went through Crash Bandicoot himself and we had a tough road ahead. Crash seemed more relaxed about the entire competition by showing up late and smack talking everyone, including spectators! I’m pretty sure he even stole a candy apple from a child, but I can’t 100% confirm it.

The rest of us got to the track early, prepped for the race of a lifetime and posted great lap times.

Crash, on the other hand, apparently slept in. Once he actually arrived at the track, he was so busy showboating and eating, he forgot about the actual race. As Marissa “Turbo” Roberto recalls:

Crash was as annoying as I thought he would be. Showed up late, steals all the glory, and ate everything at the snack table before any of us could get to it. He’s better in the digital form, IMO. -“Turbo” Roberto

All smiles, but after the photo, racer Matthew (Dapper_Tux) Rondina was suplexed by Johnny Gargano (left) and Tyler Breeze (right).

Many of the stories from the track crew echoed Roberto’s sentiments:

He just walked up, grabbed the sandwich I was eating and finished it right in front of me. It was unreal. -Anonymous track crew member

Crash has always been one to make big statements, but maybe he was legitimately really hungry.  Either way, I’d be lying if I said that the other racers on the track weren’t intimidated, if not a little starstruck when Crash finally arrived.

Racing against Crash on a real-life racetrack was like my childhood dreams coming true. I used to spend hours playing CTR and the experience of doing it IRL was unreal. It’s unfortunate my pro CTR skills didn’t really transfer over IRL. -“Slingshot” Salazar-Hadaway.

Crash’s skill was undeniable. Off the track, he was a little too distracted with wumpa fruit and totally missed the start of the race. But once he joined up, even though we had a massive head start, he easily caught up. Through pure racing skill and other “grey area” tactics, he was able to catch up with us and it was completely unreal! The orange blur zipped around the track—even stopping to pose for photos at times—and still managed to gain the lead. He wasn’t the cleanest or most honest racer, but there is no denying that bandicoot’s mad skills.

It was an incredible day on the track and one that I won’t soon forget. I’ll be sure to exact my revenge on Crash when Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled zooms into retailers on June 21st!


Matthew's Take


What a dream come true to actually drive alongside such talent, and even Crash Bandicoot himself! Growing up, I loved Crash’s smart-mouthed commercials that aimed to give the competition a run for their money. Here we are, a decade later, getting smack-talked by Crash himself. What an honour! In all seriousness though, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a kart racer I can’t wait to get my hands-on again. I played the original for hundreds of hours and, after the incredible remaster of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

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Matthew “Dapper Tux” Rondina has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. His gaming legacy began with the NES and he’s been playing on every platform he can get his hands on ever since. He has rubbed elbows with industry titans such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Shuhei Yoshida and Phil Spencer giving him an in-depth perspective on the industry. Whether adventuring with Mario, The Master Chief or Nathan Drake he’s always looking for great gaming experiences across a multitude of platforms. He has been covering interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts and on international television. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and instagram @dapper_tux and join in on the fun!