OK, maybe I'm taking this a bit far but...
It's not just engine thrust. It's also how well the brakes work and also tyre friction. But most of all, it's strategy!
Assuming the previous posts are right in that the Airbus has less power, here's the scenario:
When the referee signals the start, both aircraft apply full power. The Airbus captain also applies the brakes. The difference in power is not huge, so the brakes "may" be able to hold the airbus so that it only slips a little. The captain then gradually reduces power. The Airbus will be pulled back slowly. The captain then applies full power and releases the brakes.
Assuming that the aircraft are tail to tail, this will send a huge amount of exhaust air (low oxygen, high pollutant and VERY turbulent air) into the area that the IL-96 is sucking from. This may be enough to cause either a flame-out type failure or simply a mechanical failure in the IL-96's engines.
At which point, the Airbus happily trundles over the winning line. All they need to do then is to carefully re-apply the brakes and not do what happened when Boeing tried this challenge:
Click for large version
Photo © Rayyan ALSamadani
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