This Sunday, the new Top Gear season had its premiere on BBC and, for the first time in about 22 seasons, Clarkson, Hammond and May were not there to greet us. Instead, we met the new team who will be treating us with high-octane entertainment every week from now on, with a completely different format. And while this one editor was drastically disappointed in how the first episode turned out to be, there are more things at play here than just an obnoxious presenter.
One of the parts of the show that was, at times, even more entertaining than seeing the three Brits making fun of each other was the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment. This is where Hollywood movie stars or musicians, artists or all sorts or even Formula 1 pilots would race on the Top Gear track, to try and set the best lap time behind the wheel of a … reasonably priced car.
Well, the concept is still intact but Chris Evans and the BBC crew decided it was time for a change. As if asking stars around the world to drive a right-hand drive car on their track wasn’t enough (most were not from the UK, therefore, not used to shifting gears with their left hand) they decided to throw in some dirt as well. Therefore, the track on which the guests will be racing from now on will be a rallycross one.
That means it will be made up of asphalt and portions with dirt, water and generally terrible surfaces to drive on. Chris Harris took the time to show us what it’s all about and he’s also using the new ‘reasonably priced car’ of the show which, isn’t all that cheap to be honest. We applaud the show’s decision to choose a MINI Cooper for this segment but we can hardly say that it’s cheap, not to mention that, in order to be able to cope with the rough terrain, it had to be augmented.
Overall, things are definitely going in a new direction and while to some it may be disappointing, we have to understand that it’s normal for the new team to bring in its fresh ideas and try to make the show their own. Luckily, we’ll still be able to get some Hammond, Clarkson and May magic on our screens later this year, thanks to their new show, The Grand Tour.