Heart-pounding moment helicopter collides with rally car ripping off its roof

This is the terrifying moment a helicopter trying to get close-up action of the Dakar Rally ended up crashing into a car.

The race is notoriously known as the world’s most dangerous racing event, with drivers tasked with driving up to 560 miles a day over two weeks across tough terrain.

But things were even tougher for driver Anton Shibalov, who had to contend with being left with half a roof after a heart-pounding encounter with a helicopter.

The dramatic footage shows the chopper descending from the skies to chase Shibalov’s car and get the best camera angles.

It ends up misjudging the distance, though, and as the vehicle jumps over a mound, the aircraft hits its roof.

Part of the top of the car immediately rips off as the helicopter shoots back up into the sky.

Amazingly, Shibalov managed to get to the finish line and suffered no injuries.

Eric Khairullin of Shibalov's Kamaz team, later said: "Anton Shibalov's car arrived at the finish line with a torn-open air intake on the roof of the body.

"It turned out that the organizers' helicopter hovered too low over the track and at some point, when the truck rushing at speed, threw it up, apparently, [hitting] a helicopter."

The incident comes after driver Pierre Cherpin was tragically killed after a horrific crashes in this year's event.

The original route ran from Paris to the Senegalese capital of Dakar, crossing through remote deserts, scrubland and mountainous dunes in the process.

Security threats meant the route changed in 2008 and this year’s race is taking place solely in Saudi Arabia.

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