Top Gear (2002–…): Season 27, Episode 5 - Episode #27.5 - full transcript

Freddie Flintoff heads to Iceland to compete in the world's maddest motorsport, while Paddy McGuinness gets to grips with the new Toyota Supra. Chris Harris investigates the story of the Lotus 79, the most beautiful F1 car of all time.

...:::: SiliconChip ::::...

Top Gear S27E05 [MTB]


Thank you, thank you!

Thank you!

Hello and welcome to Top Gear,

where we start on a serious note,

because we need to talk about
Freddie Flintoff and his problem.

Standing right here, Paddy.

Right here. That's right.

Fred's not been at Top Gear long,
but already we've noticed an issue.

He appears to have no sense of fear.

Literally nothing.
The man's a medical freak.

Still here, lads, still here!

So, to test
if Freddie has any function left

in the old self-preservation gland,
the producers signed him up

for one of the maddest
race events of them all.

And they told me to go along
as his mentor.

Did you really say "gland"?
I did.

I did.


A land of fire and..

A brutal, wild landscape
that is home to the most brutal,

wild race series of them all.

So, are you going to tell me
why we're here?

You're taking part in
Formula Offroad.

It calls itself the most outrageous
form of motorsport on the planet.

I've done extreme stuff
before, Chris.

You know, I've rode a bull
in a rodeo in Texas,

I've done cliff diving in Acapulco,

drag racing, NASCAR,
professionally boxed,

I've sung in a musical.
You've sung in a...?

OK, that does sound quite
intimidating. That is terrifying.

I know you've got this reputation
as being a bit dangerous,

you're the man that's fearless
and all that.

This here is the most
extreme stuff out there.

Formula Offroad
is a law unto itself.

An automotive torture chamber
of near vertical cliffs

and punishing off-road sprints,

where just finishing the right way
up is considered a bonus.

Before sending Flintoff
into the fray, then,

first he needs some wheels.

And these were the ones
he'd been given.

A custom-built chassis, mated to
a 5.7L nitrous injected V8...

..producing 600 hp.

But in a motorsport where cars
can run to 1,000 more than that,

Flintoff's car was actually...

..beginner's spec.

Is this like the equivalent of
10 pin bowling with the rails up?

You don't need all that power.

Part of me wants to style it out
and say I'm

so disappointed that
I've not got 1,600 hp.

If I'm going to be completely honest
with you, Chris... Yeah?

..I'm far more comfortable in this!

So am I, someone that might have
to sit in the passenger seat.

Although for the moment, Fred,
I might sit it out on the sidelines

and just coach you by proxy.
How's that? You not coming in?

No, you're on your own.
Right, let's get you hooked up.

What's he doing?

Oh, is this the real car?

I don't know, he looks like
he's about to drive over you!

Hello. Thank you.

"We didn't want one of you
missing out on the fun today,

"so, Chris, we found you a car too.
You're both competing."


Were you in on this? No, Chris!
Come on, get in the car.

Look at it!

Oh, man! You couldn't be left out.

Apparently not.

And because I was considered
an experienced racer,

not only was my car bigger,

hilariously, it had been tuned up
to a much livelier 900 hp.

And while I was still digesting
that bit of good news,

next, we had to head straight
to the course walk.

You're having a laugh, aren't you?
How does it get up that?

The whole idea of this film
was to put you in a car

and to watch you roll.
Why am I doing this?

Everyone expects it of you, Chris,

they've seen you on the telly
on Top Gear.

They just think I'm a local.

Just for the avoidance of doubt,
if your car falls off that,

that'll hurt.

That's just the price you pay,

Look, if I'm going to hurt myself,

I want it to be at Tamburello
or Parabolica in a Formula 1 car.

I don't want to break
bad news to you,

but you're never going
to be a Formula 1 driver.

That ship has sailed, Chris.
One, you're not good enough.

Two, you're too old. Yup.
Three, you're too fat. Yeah, OK.

I can't deny any of that, really.

But it's nice to have friends
around to support you, isn't it?

So, the competition ahead of us
would play out over six rounds.

Working down the valley's rock
and gravel walls

to finish on the very wet,
very muddy marshland flats.

But what that really meant was,

we'd be straight in
at the deep end,

starting at the cliffs.

It's a long time,

a long, long time since I've felt
me beans going like this!

But you know what?

The one thing about nerves is,
they're only bad

because everyone tells you
they're bad.

They make you feel alive!

And with the wait finally over,
it was time to give it a go.

Do not let me down, son!

Come on, Freddie lad.

Right, here we go.

As soon as you feel the rise,
let's go.

Come on, Freddie!

Jesus, Flintoff!


First round, rolled it!

Yeah, well good.

I've never been more apprehensive
about any motorsport in my life.

I don't want to be doing this,


Well, nice try. You had a go.
Yeah! Just went... Yeah.


I tell you what, Chris,
this got real, this, didn't it?

What happened? I just thought
I'd floor it and see what happens.

Did you have any idea
what you were doing?

Just got no control.

Well, now you're fully recovered,
no word of a lie,

you're the he-man, if I don't fancy
this first stage, I'm stopping.

Way to go, man. Be safe. Be safe?!


While the rest of the field took
turns attacking the course,

Harris made his way
to the start line.

Here we go, then.

And soon enough... was his turn.


I can't believe what it'll go over.


Fair play to Harris, he'd taken
round one and made it look easy.

Well done, mate. Happy with that?

No. Coming down, I've smashed
my back. It really hurt!

Did you enjoy it at any point? No,
I hated every single second of it.

Really? Yeah. I don't see any point
in this at all. You cracking on?

Yeah, I'm going to carry on, because
obviously, I've got to beat you.

I don't like your chances!

Round two, then.

Where not only was the climb bigger,

this time, there was two of them.

I'm under a bit of pressure
on this second one.

Come on, this time.


We've got it, Freddie lad,
we've got this!

BLEEP it, I'm having a go.

Whoa! Freddie lad, get in!
Get in, son!

Was that Fred?
Get in!

Nobody puts Freddie in a corner!

Harris, have a do at that, son.

Flintoff had bounced back
with a high scoring run

putting the pressure squarely on me
and Big Red.

Come on!

Oh, yes!

Whoa! Close!

He's got up the hill.

On to the red one.

I can't even see it!

He's reversing.

Harris, look at him, he's taking it
serious now, isn't he? Look at him.

Oh, and he's got penalty points,
cos he's going backwards!

Go backwards again, Chris!
Go backwards again!

This is insane. My eyes tell me
that's not possible.



That is a good thing.
That is a good thing!

I'd made it round,
but not without penalties.

I had to reverse.
I couldn't get round.

Which meant
after his barnstorming run,

Flintoff had climbed to
an impressive ninth place.

I'm in front against Harris! Just
got to keep concentrating, though.

Just concentrate.

# We come from the land
of the ice and snow

# From the midnight sun,
where the hot springs flow... #

The competition kept rolling on.

Whoa! Jesus Christ!

He's going to be OK.

And with round three frankly best
forgotten by the both of us...

Oh, I've stalled.

It's BLEEP stalled!

Come on!

Harris has only got stuck!


..we took the no-score draw,
headed down the valley,

and I turned up the mind games.

You wouldn't make a good Aussie,
would you? Why?

On the Aussie flag, they've got
an emu and a kangaroo,

do you know why? Why?

Because they cannot take
a backwards step. Can't they? Mmm.

Unlike you.
Live your life in reverse, you.

Seed of doubt planted, the next
round was a gravel loop time trial.

And I was ready to strike.

I know there's suspension on it,
but you feel every bump!

Oh, this is driving!

Never mind your sports cars,

never mind your big 4x4s,

this is what it's about!

Well, that was not bad.
That was not bad!

Now, that, ladies and gentlemen,
is how it's done.

I will take that
every day of the week.

And as Harris took to the course, I
knew I'd got right inside his head.

Tell you what, he's slow, isn't he?

Come on, Chris.
Everyone's going home!

He's taking this steady,
what's going on with him?

That's a bit quicker.

Here he comes.

In the end, he crossed the line a
full seven seconds slower than me.

Slightly embarrassing!

What happened?

Chris is showing
his true colours now.

Chris has had a bad run
and he's having a hissy fit!

We had fought our way to the bottom
of the valley, and now seventh

in the standings, I had built
a massive 90 point lead over Harris.

So for the little man,

the river crossing round
really would be sink or swim.

This is the silliest motorsport
event in the world.

That's why we're here.

What the hell is he doing?!

Has he lost a wheel?

This was supposed to be
YOUR challenge.

You were hired on this show
to be the psycho, crazy,

I'll-do-anything guy.
That's not my role!

I'm supposed to bring it
back to the cars!

You know when you get nervous,
you talk a lot, don't you?

Leaving Harris to ponder that,

I lined up for my run
across the river.

But with the rest of the field now
playing mind games of their own...

Freddie! This is how it's done!

..I'd just been told
that my beginner's car had never

actually made it across
the river before.

Blooming heck!

To be honest,
I wasn't feeling that confident.

I love puddles,

but this is a lake!

Oh, it's flags down.

Here we go!

I'm on water!

No! No!

It's flooded,
and the water is freezing!


Turns out Flintoff can't walk
on water after all.

Oh, it was going so well!

And with his big lead
suddenly looking shaky,

if I could just teach Big Red
to swim, we'd be in with a shot.

I'm not here to lose!

I managed to clear the short splash
that had drowned Flintoff's car,

but to finish the round,

next we'd need to conquer
a nigh-on impossible 160m stretch.

Just floor it.

Woohoo! Woohoo!

Yes, Big Red had done me proud.

First of all, can we admire the
pressure the water has done to my...

I've got to take me
hat off to you, Chris.

I've stood on the bank and watched
you come in, and...

I was committed, mate. much
as it pains me to say it,
it was very impressive.

It was committed. And the crowd were
cheering, it was a lovely thing.

It really was.

Especially because I had now climbed
to eighth place, a bone dry

30 points ahead of Flintoff,
who had sunk down to tenth.

I reckon it's all to play for
going into the last. Yeah.

Which is called...

..The Swamp. Yeah.

I don't want to put
the pressure on you,

but I reckon you're favourite
going into this.

You think I'm the favourite?
You've got more power. It's a swamp.

I couldn't get through
a little river in this.

Enough mind games.

As the leader,
I would be up first, with

a sprint across an ancient Icelandic
bog to finish the competition.

I've got a funny feeling
these overalls might need to

go into the wash after this.

He's having a real go.

Oh, Harris!

He's only got stuck!

Nah, turn it off, Chris.

That's embarrassing.


He is covered in absolute BLEEP.
Look at him!

Look at the state of him!

Only thing is, I can laugh now,

but that's going to be me
in a matter of minutes.

Wow, smells quite pooey.

If he's getting stuck,
with all that power,

I'm not sure how I'm going
to go here.

The rest of the field certainly
weren't finding it easy.

Good lad. No! Go on!


You poor sod.

And as I took to the start line,
one thing was clear -

Iceland's Formula Offroad had saved
its most technical test till last.

Here we go. Time to shine,
Freddie boy!

This is it. Just got to get round.
If I get round, I've beat him.

Right, Flintoff, here we go.

I'm off.

I'm off!

Can't see a thing!

He's got to where I got to.

Yes, yes!

I've made it!

No, he's still going!


Well, that's going nowhere now.



And Freddie Flintoff...

I'm stuck, officially stuck.

I'd given it my all...

I'm out.

..but would it be enough
to beat Harris?

I think he might have me there.

That's so close.

How close is that?

This is going to be tight.

Someone's going to have
to come and get me.

You look like the monster
from the deep!

I tell you what, the last ounce
of credibility I've got -

I just left it in that mud.

Oh, God! But how did you get on?

According to the official scoring...

..there was one point in it.

Shut up! One point in it. Shut up!

Freddie Flintoff, 1050 points.

C Harris, 1051!

Seventh overall, sixth overall.
This is a national championship.

We are the sixth and seventh best
in Iceland!

Get in! Now, let's go
and have a tetanus jab and a shower.

No, don't do that...

I'm so tempted... I'm going
nowhere near that, Fred!


Oh, yes!

I've got to say, respect!

Cos that looks brutal.

And Iceland -
no ice, just mud everywhere!

Savage! It was horrendous, it was
like being beaten up for five

rounds by a heavyweight boxer,
and just as you get your breath

back at the end, someone pours
a bucket of poo on your head.

That's what it was like,
it was horrendous.

And that wasn't mud, it smelt
a lot more organic than that...

It was 2m out, wasn't it? You were
just 2m from beating him.

That's two Chris Harrises!

I've got a problem with this,


Ah, they got it in the end!
It took a while.

It took YOU a minute!

The thing about it was, if they'd
have given me a proper car,

like his, I'd have won.
Oh, my God!

He was like this as a professional
sportsman, always blaming his tools.

Look, you had the agile car
for the agile round,

you got the points there, you didn't
make it stick when it counted.

You lost fair and square. No, if
I'd had a proper car, I'd have won.

And not just beaten you, young man,
I'd have won the tournament.

No, no, we've given...
I'd have come home with silverware.

We've given you proper cars
at other times,

and you've crashed them.
So, you lost.

Well, we did sixth
and seventh best in Iceland, right?

Granted... Some going!



But, but, but...

..the biggest winner here is me,
cos I didn't have to do it. Yes!

While these two were off
mud wrestling in Iceland, I was

having a lovely time in Wales,
on me own, just me and me dream car.

The Toyota Supra.

Specifically the A80 Toyota
Supra of 1993.

The original giant-slaying
sports car.

And the very top of my bucket list.

Oh, you absolute beauty.

I was 19 when these came out,
and growing up in Bolton,

you'd never see a Ferrari
or a Lamborghini or

a 911 driving around, but every now
and again, you'd see one of these.

And, God, I wanted one.

I never got to drive one,
but today, for the first time ever,

that's exactly what I'm going to do.


This is a massive deal for me.



Here we go.


Come on.

# Let's go. #

Forgive me for a moment.

I'm just taking this in...
The power!



When this car launched in Britain,
it cost ?37,000.

Its twin turbo, straight-six engine
gave the Supra 325 brake hp.

Nought to 60 in just under
five seconds.

Nought to 60 in just under
five seconds, in the '90s!

This was a proper supercar-killer.

In fact,
car magazines of the day pitched

the Supra against some
of the biggest players in the game.

Players like the Porsche 911 Turbo.

The Aston Martin DB7.

Even the Ferrari 512 Testarossa.


I have literally just overtaken me
teenage bedroom wall.


These were cars that cost three,

even five times more than the Supra.

But it kept pace
with the lot of 'em.

And then some.

Supercar-scaring performance
as standard was just the start...


..because the Supra was also very
easy to make very much faster.

Listen to them pop and hiss!


I've died and gone to Japanese
sports car heaven!

This was the car that kick-started
Generation Fast and Furious.

With a little bit of know-how,
you could boost these cars to up

to 800 brake hp or even more
than that, and they'd never blow up.


But me, I'll take
my Supra as nature intended.

Completely stock
and utterly captivating.

I absolutely love this car.

And the sad thing is there's not
many of these left.

After just a few years on sale
in the UK, Toyota pulled the plug,

and the best Japanese sports
car of the lot was done.

But now...

..more than a quarter
of a century later...

..the Japanese icon is back.


This is the new Supra.

A two-seat, rear-wheel drive,

?50,000 sports car that picks up
right where we left off.

Just like the old Supra, it's got
a three-litre, straight-six,

turbo-charged engine,
nudging over 300 brake hp.

And just like the old Supra,
it'll do nought to 60 in about four

and a bit seconds.

And it'll hit the limiter at 155.

And, yes, Toyota only making the new
Supra about as quick

as the old one might sound
a bit lazy.

And do you know what?
I think it's the right call.

I mean, it's not going to show
a new Ferrari or a 911

a clean pair of heels, but 300 hp
in the '90s was plenty.

And the roads haven't changed much
since then.

So, 300 hp now is still plenty.


Come on!


Hard on the brake,
dropping down a gear.


So agile, so quick,
so responsive.



This is so much fun.

But before you run out the door
with your cheque book, there is

potentially a bit of a problem
with the new Supra.

And it's called the BMW Z4.

Yep, Japan's most iconic sports
car has been properly German-ed up.

They've got the same engine, same
gearbox, most of the suspension,

pretty much all the same dash.

And do you know what?

I'm totally fine with that.

If you're going to borrow something,
borrow it off the best.

You're not going to get them
mixed up.

The Supra only comes as a coupe,
the Z4 only comes as a convertible.

That's Japanese and stylish,
that is not.


In the end, it's just economics.

If they hadn't teamed up,
Toyota couldn't have made the new

Supra, and BMW couldn't have made
the new Z4.

And a world with two new sports
cars is just better.

No, this is a good car, this.

It might not be as ground-breaking
as the old Supra,

but it's still a little
barrel-chested bulldog

of a sports car.

And that'll do for me just fine.

But I am well aware
that won't do for everyone.

In fact, only yesterday I received
a letter off a brave little lad

who wants to know what it's like
to skid this car around a track.

Well, I'm all about helping out
the little 'uns.

Mr Harris. Morning, sir.
Are you getting in?

Step out of that seat, and apply
yourself to the shotgun position.

Let's go! Come on!

Allow me to escort you out of the
vehicle. You're keen, ain't you?

Of course I am. Now, get in.


Well... Well, well, well, well...

Not well. What's the problem?

The problem is I'm sitting in a BMW.

Have you not noticed? There is
nothing about this that's a Toyota.

You've not even started yet. Because
that's a BMW starter button there.

BMW gear lever.
This is really wrong.

I don't understand
what the problem is.

If you go to Lidl for your big shop
and get home and find they've

packed your bags full of Waitrose,
are you going to complain?


Set off. It's a BMW steering wheel!


Oh, did I hear you go, "cor"
there? Well, look, it goes well.

I'm not going to deny that.
Let's just take a bit of time.

Knock yourself out.

So, let's just start
with the basics.

The torque of the motor is great.

BMW make a really good
engine at the moment.

And do you know what?

From the moment I got in it,
it sounded like a BMW.

Here we go, look at this.

BMW actually keep their
power-steering pumps linear all the

way through to full opposite
lock like that,

and that's why this feels, to me,
so flipping BMW, there!

That is BMW oversteer.
That's not Toyota oversteer.
No-one's bothered!

No-one's bothered about that.
What do you mean no-one's bothered.

It's not a Toyota.

What does a Toyota feel like, Chris?

Well, from the inside, it would
have a really crazy interior.

You'd have a 2JZ upfront
making hissing and whooshing noises.

Yeah. It would sound turbo-charged.
Do you know what, Paddy?

It might be a little bit worse as a
car, but it would reek of style.


I just think it's a missed
opportunity, you know?

It's ridiculous.

It's like finding out that
Charles Dickens wants to write

the best book ever, and he phones up
Emily Bronte and says,

"Can you do this and then just
send me the manuscript afterwards?"

It's wrong.

Can you imagine Charles Dickens

and Emily Bronte writing
a book together?

It's a bestseller, Chris!


It's a bestseller!

Oh, I don't know...
It's perfectly good, but it just...

No, no, no buts, no buts!
Is it a good sports car?

Yes. Good.

Now, I think there might
still be a few milli on the rubber.

Knock yourself out, go and do some
more skids. I've not been sick yet.


That is fab.

What are you doing that for now?


What are you doing that for now?

What's wrong with you? You liked it.
What's wrong? It's not a real Supra.

You liked it. It's perfectly good,
but it's not a real Supra.

What do you mean? It's not a real
Supra. I've said it three times.

Which part of "not a real Supra"
do you not understand?

Well, what's not real about it?
Well, it's a BMW. Lads, lads...

No-one cares! Lads, lads, lads! The
internet forums are alight. Whoa!

Just let me clear this up for you.
It's easy. Go on.

If you want to buy a sports car,
and it bothers you that the new

Supra has a BMW interior,
don't buy one.

You know?

On the flipside, if you like the BMW
bits, knock yourself out.


He's got a point.

I'm not taking logic from a man who
believes the Earth is flat. Come on.


Can I add to that? And we've never
been to the moon.

Anyway... Whoa! You've heard it
first here, you've heard it first
from me.

He's dropped the mic!

Never mind that,
there's two things I want to know.

First, Paddy, how close were you
to chucking up there?

Well... It was terrible,
his aftershave was really bad...

He smells,
he smells like Boots chemist.

It was all right for a little bit.

It got a little bit tricky
towards the end,

but I got through it OK, yeah,
it was all right.

And the other thing is how fast
is it on our track?

So, we sent the Stig out
earlier today

and you can watch the lap
online to see how fast it was.

So, where are you expecting, Chris?
She's down the bottom, got to be.

You reckon? Yeah, because, you know,
it's not much firepower,

not that much grip, it's a bit lazy.

It's you, this car! This car is you!

Well, I can tell you the new Toyota
Supra went round our track... Yeah. one minute...

Brilliant. ..20... The suspense.


Oh, my God. Harris, you're right,
it's right down here.

Oh. That's terrible.


Are you disappointed, Paddy?
I am! You loved this car. Oh...

Not a patch on the original.


If you're in the market
for a new car,

or you just like watching a very
small man talk very quickly,

here's Chris Harris with some
high-speed buying advice.

Right, what cars to buy,
what cars not to buy,

in a bunch of different categories
all in under two minutes-ish,
follow me.

Category one, small convertibles.

The Fiat 500. So, you think
it's a fun little Italian job.

Actually it's a conspiracy
by the world's chiropractors

to wreck your back.
It's a terrible thing.

And this one's in afterbirth pink.

The Mazda MX-5.

I normally hate these, but this
latest one is actually really

good to drive, and I love that dark
burgundy paintwork.

The Mini.

I would rather appear on a Saturday
night dating game show with

Paddy McGuinness than be seen
anywhere near that thing.

It's disgusting.

The Audi TT.

Now, I should hate these, but this
car's just been discontinued,

and I feel slightly sorry for it,
so, for me, I'm going

to take the Audi TT, which is
the least bad of a bad bunch.

Let's move on.

The estate car.

I think the new Insignia is quite
a good looking car,

but you can't buy a Vauxhall,
can you? It's like giving up.

The Volvo V90.

Smashing it out of the park
at the moment, Volvo.

The engines are a bit mean, and it's
40 grand for the cheapest one,

but what a great-looking car..

Skoda Superb.

Massive, nothing wrong with it.

It's just a bit vanilla, isn't it?

And then the old Ford Mondeo,
in that kind of primer grey.

I'm going to come back down here,
and I'm going to say...'s the Volvo all day long,

because the Skoda looks like it
might be

an unmarked police car, and that
scares me. OK...

Hot hatches, here we go.

This is the new i30 N from Hyundai.

It's a great hot hatch, but it just
doesn't do anything to me,

and a hot hatch should make
you tingle.

No tingle there.

The Mercedes A35.

Hugely expensive, hugely capable,
and, I hate to say it, hugely dull.

The Honda Civic Type R.
Look at that.

Styled by an eight-year-old,
drives brilliantly,

but could you do it to yourself?

Could you turn up in front of the
people you love looking like that?

No, you couldn't.

And there it is.
The shining glory of hot hatches.

A Volkswagen Golf GTI.

It's like tomato sauce.

You try it once,
you then go and try all the others,

the Hyundai, the Mercedes, the
Honda, and you come back to the red

sauce that's made by the company
I can't mention on the BBC.


Lightweight British sports cars.

These are great cars.

The Morgan 3-Wheeler. Look at it.

One of the rawest driving
devices ever. Bizarre.

It'll get you more looks
than a Lamborghini,

with that added thrill of knowing
that death is just round the corner.

Then down here, come on, follow me
down here, come on, come on,
come on.

The Lotus Elise, 23 years old,

still the definitive
lightweight British roadster.

And the Ariel Atom.

The greatest thing to come
out of Somerset

since fizzy alcoholic apple juice.

Great car, four-wheel motorcycle,
no windscreen.

But for me, the winner, there it is.

I love a Caterham Seven.

That's the basics of driving in one
machine. And I love the green.

So, there you go - lightweight
sports cars, convertibles,

we've covered them all.

I'm going to go off
and do some serious work now.


I quite enjoyed that.
Chris, I've got to tell you. Yeah?

Genuinely, that was
nearly impressive.

Thank you, Andrew. Very kind of you.
So close, so close.

Very supportive. So close, Paddy.
So close.

What's wrong with dating shows?

Certain dating shows are OK.

Oh, we wouldn't get you in the lift,
the size of you.

Now it's time to meet our studio
guest who tonight is Will Young.

Here's what happened when we met him
on the track earlier today.

Will. Look who's here.

How are you? Lovely to see you.
Good to see you.

Come here, Will. How are you, pal?

You know how uncomfortable
Chris is with hugs.

Come on, let's have a practice.

Mr Half Nelson there.
Like wrestling.

What we have here
is barrier chicken.

OK. We have a lovely Fiat Punto
and we have a barrier.

Patrick, demonstrate. Certainly.

You had one job.
There we go, there we go.

That's lovely. OK.

Well, you have to choose someone
to go in the car with

and then the two of you will be
against the two remaining here.

Does that make sense? Yeah.
Who are you choosing?

You. Great choice!
Really? Great choice.

It's not personal.

Well, I just want to be
on the winning team.

You two are up first.
Stop standing there being cool.

You couldn't even work the barrier.
Come on.

It's like Thelma and Louise, this.

Don't they die in the end, them two?

Will, you're in charge of this, OK?
Thank you.

That will give you the speed.
Fastest through the barrier wins.

If you don't make it through the
barrier, you can't win.

Come on, we can't get beaten
by Harris. We're not doing.

Are you going to go, lads, or just
going to have a chinwag down there?

Chris, shut up. Men at work.

I like that record.

Got to get to 90.

It's a fine line between bravery
and stupidity and we're walking it.

Here we go! Come on, it's going
to go down, we're going to get this.

Thelma and Louise! Hold my hand!

Come on, come on, come on!
Thelma and Louise!


Thelma and Louise did it!

It didn't happen.


Very aggressive driving.

Oh, smooth, Paddy. Smooth!

Thelma and Louise!

Come on, what did we get, Chris?

It was 91. Oh, we'll take that.
We'll have that. In the Punto.

I have to say, boys,
that's a great effort,

because I didn't even think the
Punto was capable of doing 91mph.

You were going so fast you peeled
the stickers off the side.

Yeah, yeah. Paddy did the maths.
That's how we roll.

We're going to go round
that corner there. Yeah.

We're going to go through the cones.
Through those cones? Yeah.

OK, let's go.
We're on our way, boys.

Where have they gone?
They've gone round the corner!

Where are you going?

Full power now. Everything. Yeah.

Then run it out to six. Third.

You're better off going straight
back rather than coming round.

Go round a corner you're going
to lose speed. Keep going.

Am I going the right way?
Yeah, you are. Through there.

Straight through there.
You see the channel? Yeah.

We're going to do it.
We're going to hit it.

Oh! It was a light touch.

I think we're OK!

First bit of bad news is you clipped
the barrier. No, we didn't.

You did, you did.
Where is the evidence of that?

We'll show it you after. On these.
These are called cameras, Chris.

And the second piece
of bad news. Come on.


Four miles an hour difference.
It's a win for the working classes!

Come on, let's go
and eat some pasties.

The northerners prevailing
over posh. Where's Nanny? Nanny!

Let's have a pasty and a cup of tea.


Ladies and gentlemen, Will Young.

I feel I let you down. No, you
didn't. You couldn't let me down.

How you doing, pal?

Oh, Will!

No, I feel I let you down.

I feel like you gloated
too much, you two.

Ooh-hoo-hoo! A little too much.
Straight in there!

Well, you started
in another county, Will.

You took one hell of a run-up.

I mean, they're not known for being
modest winners, are they?

Let's face it. No.
Basically, I hate losing.

I absolutely... And I just realised
again today that I'm so competitive.

I'm really competitive.

It's terrifying though
when you go towards the barrier.

It was so exhilarating
I want to do it again immediately.

Tough! Tough! Oh, no!

Oh, no!

Let's talk about some car history.
Yes. So, first car was what?

Mini. Mini? Yeah, original Mini.

This is my old one. One like that.

You've got to have a Mini as
a first car, that kind of thing.

You do, yeah. Because they're like
little go-karts.

It's a joyous little place to
begin your life journey, isn't it?

Yeah. It's a great car.
But you've owned some lovely cars

and it's a selection that shows that
you do love motor vehicles

and you're definitely a petrol head,
aren't you? Yes.

But there's one car story in there
that stands out

and it surrounds a Porsche 356
and I think it's lovely.

Can you tell us a bit about that?

Oh, yeah, the 3... Oh, yeah,
there's my baby! Look at that.

So when I was at school, I had...

My friend's dad was Italian and had
one of these cars in white

and it was a left-hand drive

and I would see him drive away
and I would say,

about 11 years old, you know, "One
day I would love a car like that."

So fast forward, I was going out
to buy a Mini, actually,

and then I saw one of those
in black, so that, bought it.

It was the same car.

No! It was my friend's dad's car
just been re-sprayed.

Exact car? 30 years later.

Didn't it end up getting clamped

Yeah, that's how
I found out it was his,

because I hadn't changed
the registration.

Yeah. And didn't someone else
live in it for a bit?

Yeah, some tramps lived in it
in a car park.

And one of them had BLEEP in a bag,
which was really weird.


I actually think that's
quite all right.

I mean, he's not done it
on the car seat.

No, at least it wasn't...
A bit of courtesy. Do it in a bag.

Will, I promised myself
if I ever saw you, I'd apologise.


Pay my dues.

I accept your apology.

Thank you, Will. You're too kind.

Was it around 2005,
end of the summer?

Was it around then, Freddie?

Shh! Something like that.

We were both in a bad place.

You also used to own an XR3i.

I've still got it.
No! Yeah, Escort XR3i.

What colour?
Black with a red stripe.

That was exactly the same as mine.
Yeah. Grey cloth seats.

Fantastic car. Oh, they're great.

Because I'm an '80s boy,
so that's what I want.

I had a Mark 1 Golf GTI
and I saw this Escort on eBay

and I thought, I can't have that
go to a wrecker's yard,

so it's now just a wreck
in my friend's garage.

And tell us about
the new album, Will.

Er... Yeah, it's called Lexicon.

It's sort of electro,
mid-tempo electro pop.

Is it '80s inspired?
Well, it is, actually.

I think it is. Yes, we like that.

Kind of Pet Shop Boys.
I mean, I love it.

It's just been
an utter pleasure to do.

And I know you've got something

in common with one of my learned
colleagues down there is cricket.

Oh, I hate cricket. I thought...
How can you hate cricket?

You're amazing,
I don't hate you, but I...

Oh, thank you. Thanks, Will!
I'm glad we cleared that up.

Well, yeah, I'm with you.
I also hate cricket.

But it's different, though.
You're just too thick for it.

No, what happened to 1-0?

"He's 70 round the back
for two googlies and a wicket."

What's that?!

What's that?
I've got to tell you, Paddy,

there's been times
when I've stood there for five days

and we've drawn at the end thinking,
"What was the point in that?"

I had to go out there... I went
to this horrible school and I had

to go out there and I was made
to play one cricket match a week.

And you stand there

and someone throws a very hard
leather ball at you.

That's the crux of it.
Yeah, but it's like...

Why would you do that?

So I learned from a young age
that I could just...

If you knock the wicket over...

What's that called when you do that?
Hit wicket.

Hit wicket, then you're out,
so they'd go, "Here comes Young."

And I'd just knock the wicket over
and then I'd walk back again.

Cheers. Cheers, boy.
I'm not standing there

with someone throwing that at me!
No, no. Someone like you...

There were points in your career
where if you'd done that,

you'd have scored more runs. Yeah.

Or I might have been
accused of match fixing.

One of the two.
You make the... Yes.

Will, you've been here before.

You've done a lap in the Lacetti
in the wet.

What was it like this
time in the GT86?

The car's amazing.
It's a bit livelier now, isn't it?

It's a lot livelier.
And the Stig was lovely,

just as non-communicative
as he was the last time.

Now, who wants to see Will's lap?

Yes! Come on!

Let's have a look.
Oh, God, oh, God...

Right, here we go.

Off the line.

Could have used a bit more
of first gear.

# Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...

# One more chance to make it right

# I'm singing my own music... #

# That's really,
really BLEEP hard... #

So, the tunes are good.

You're singing along.

The line's pretty good,
using all the circuit.

There's a crow.

Into Chicago.

That's not so good.
That's not so good, William!

Could be maybe a gear lower.

A bit bogged down on the exit.

Breaking hard into Hammerhead.

Direction change is quite tricky.

Round Hammerhead.

Let's have a look
at the exit. Again...

Oh, no, the gear's probably right.


Oh, this is amazing.

Using all the track.

Coming up to the follow-through.

Good turning,
nice bit of tyre squeal.

Now through...the tyre wall.
Look at that.

Whoa! BLEEP!

Now the technical section.

That looks like a good line
into second to last to me.

Interesting line.

But it's a good one.

Using most of the circuit.
Now through Gambon.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah...

Tidy, tidy.

Will, I can see you're eyeing
the board up.

Where would you like to be?
Obviously top, but...

I think I'd like to be
above Gregory Porter.

Gregory Porter, so mid-table?

Yeah, but I want to be number one,
but I know I'm not.

I can tell you
you're not number one.

Sorry for giving the game away.

Aw! I can tell you, Will Young,
you went round our track

in one minute...


Oh! So you're just above...
You've done it.

Above Gregory Porter.

Gregory Porter.

That's a good effort, come on.
That's all right.

You don't seem best pleased.
Are you coming back for another go?

I'm going to watch that at home
and cry a little bit.

No, you're not.
Don't! No, you'll be OK.

No, no, hey, listen,
I just love cars so much

and I genuinely mean this,
I'm such a fan of this show,

so to be able to come back
and just talk cars and have a laugh,

I'd do it every day, so thank you.
Oh, thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen,
let's hear it for Will Young!


Thanks so much. Thank you, Will.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

OK. Yeah? Time for you two to
finally be of use this series. OK.

Here we have the regulations
for a Formula 1 car this year.

Look at that. Look at the size of
that. You hold on to that. Thanks.

And that is why all Formula 1 cars
basically look the same

and the action's a bit boring.

And this slim document here

is the rule book
for Formula 1 in 1978...

Wow! ..when Formula 1 cars
were proper.

MUSIC: 20th Century Boy
by T. Rex

The '70s, the era when F1 cars went
totally and utterly bonkers.

It was the era that brought us
a six-wheeled Tyrrell,

a Brabham with an onboard fan,

but there was one car more than
any other in history

that totally rewrote
the rule book...

..the Lotus 79.

They called it Black Beauty.

Not only is it one of the
best-looking F1 cars ever made,

but it definitely has
the best-ever paint job.

It's also quite possibly the most
revolutionary F1 car of all time.

The story begins here
at Ketteringham Hall

in deepest Norfolk.

In the '70s, this was the fortress

for one of the greatest minds
in F1 history -

Lotus founder Colin Chapman.

Colin Chapman was the most
amazing person to work for.

I mean, it was the most
exciting period of my life.

I worked with him on pleasure boats,
racing boats, road cars,

racing cars, aeroplanes

and even - believe it or not -
flying saucers.

And it was never, ever dull.

But Chapman's true passion
was Formula 1

and putting Lotus on the top
step of the podium.

In 1974, after a number of years
of not being very competitive,

Colin Chapman wanted to completely
look at the Grand Prix car

as a whole and redefine it.

Chapman's aim -
to cheat aerodynamics.

You see, in racing,
you can have straight-line speed

or grip in the corners,
one or the other.

That's physics.

But Chapman wanted both.

He wanted to hack physics.

So, what he did was he packed off
Peter Wright and his team

to Imperial College in London
for as long as they needed

with some models, a load of tape,
a load of clay

and said,
"Come back with some results."

And here are those models that were
taken to the wind tunnels.

Look at them.

For months, Wright's team
experimented in the wind tunnel

without success.

But after more
than 1,400 hours of testing,

they chanced upon something

Due to the forces that
the air put on the model,

we noticed that the side pods
were sagging during the run

and that the gap between the outer
edge of the side pod

and the road was changing.

So we went, "Ah, OK.
What happens if we fix that gap?"

And we put card skirts on
that ran about half a millimetre

away from the moving road
and we had a big eureka moment.

What they'd discovered was
ground effect.

Funnelling the air under the car
caused it to speed up,

creating a vacuum,
sucking the car to the track.

Lotus calculated it was worth
two seconds a lap.

That's a lifetime in motorsport.

Ground effect really was
the golden ticket.

It gave you more straight-line speed
and it gave you more grip.

The only problem was that ground
effect required a perfect seal

between the skirts on the side
of the car and the road beneath.

Easy enough in a wind tunnel,
rather trickier out on the tarmac.

With no computer modelling,
Lotus went lo-fi.

The engineers, well,
they commandeered

one of the company's Renault 4
delivery vans,

bolted a metal rig to the back

and then attached to that some
different skirt arrangements.

Then they'd barrel round
the test track

seeing which one stuck itself
to the tarmac the best.

I lay on my stomach in the back
of the van, my head sticking

out of the rear doors,
and watched what was happening.

The chief mechanic drove this thing
as hard as he could round

Hethel test track and, of course,
being a Renault 4,

it rolled a lot and it pitched a lot
and it bounced a lot,

which was perfect for testing
the skirts.

That was a very key piece
of R and D equipment.

After testing skirts
made from plastic,

bits of draught excluder, even
brushes, Lotus eventually settled

on these spring-loaded strips of
aluminium coated with ceramic tips.

They provided a perfect
seal down the side

and they were tough enough to last
hundreds of miles of racing.

So Lotus now had its ground
effect racing car.

Now all it needed were some drivers.

And, boy, did it have them.

On one side of the garage
was Mario Andretti.

The Italian-American racer
had grafted his way up through

the USA's dirt track series
to win the Indy 500

before Colin Chapman
lured him into F1.

What I loved about Colin is that...

The fact that he just wanted to win.

He just wanted to win and that's...

That's who you want
to be with, you know?

If you were with him when he was
really right on -

and I was - you know, in a period,

then you had a chance
of pulling off a championship.

On the other side of the Lotus
garage was Swedish racer

Ronnie Peterson.

Softly spoken off track,
but utterly fearless on it,

Peterson's caution-to-the-wind
racing style had already

earned him a handful of F1 wins
and the nickname Super Swede.

Ronnie Pearson was, yeah,
absolutely a tough competitor.

I mean, he was well known for his
talent, car control and everything

and the nicest guy in the world.

You know, we were really good

What a guy, what a guy.

May, 1978.

The Belgian Grand Prix.

The 79's first race outing,

and it was Andretti who got
first dibs on the new car.

Andretti immediately
stuck it on pole,

qualifying streets ahead
of Carlos Reutemann's Ferrari.

The F1 grid didn't know
what had hit it.

The 79 was one of those big steps.

You know, it was the sudden
two seconds a lap change.

And it was what was coined
as the unfair advantage.

It was something the opposition,
even once they understood it,

they couldn't copy it overnight,

so it was just a win-win-win
in so many different ways.

The next day, Andretti dominated
the race, taking the chequered flag

almost half a minute
ahead of the closest Ferrari.

It was the start of an era
of total domination.

At the next race in Spain, Andretti
won again with Peterson second.

The French Grand Prix - same result.

In fact, ground effect was
so game changing,

so effective, that Lotus sought to
throw the competition off the scent.

The type 79 had such an advantage
that my father got to the point

of thinking, look, we mustn't
show them just how fast we can go,

so in qualifying at times, extra
fuel would be put in to sandbag,

slow them down a little bit,
but even with that, you couldn't

disguise the fact that the 79 was
just so much faster than the rest.

As the season unfolded, Andretti won
in Germany and the Netherlands,

Peterson in Austria.

The 79 was head and shoulders ahead
of the pack.

You know, ground effect really led
to another one of those eras

when Team Lotus was just
going to win

and the others were desperately
trying to keep up.

But the others couldn't get close.

At the 1978 Italian Grand Prix,

having already secured
the Constructors' Championship,

Lotus could wrap up
the drivers' title

with a couple of races to spare.

But things didn't go to plan.

Peterson, driving Lotus's
older backup car

after crashing his 79 in qualifying,

was involved in a collision
on the first lap.

Conscious but suffering leg
injuries, he was taken to hospital.

Back out on track,
Andretti stayed out of trouble,

grabbing the points he needed
to secure the championship.

But the team's celebrations
were short-lived.

The following morning,
suddenly and unexpectedly,

Ronnie Peterson died from
complications following surgery.

And the next day,
on my way to the hospital, you know,

I hear on the radio that he'd died.

And, er...

I just could not believe it.

It was just tragic, tragic, tragic.

It's one of those things
that's so hard to accept, you know,

for many reasons.

And, you know, just...

It was tough.

Monza would prove to be the last
hurrah for the Lotus 79.

As rival teams developed yet
faster ground effect cars

the following season, Black Beauty
would never win another race.

No sooner had it conquered
the world,

the original ground effect car
was done, a museum piece.

But here's a thing.

Thanks to Classic Team Lotus,
this car...

..the car in which Mario Andretti
won three Grand Prix, still drives.

And they've said I can drive it.

Whoo! Hoo-hoo-hoo!

I'm at the home of Lotus in possibly
the coolest Lotus ever made.

Well, these are the numbers -

470 horsepower, and it weighs
just over half a tonne.

It's seriously, seriously potent.

And behind my head is the iconic F1
engine, the Cosworth DFV,

three litres singing
all the way to 10,000 RPM.

It's a thing of joy.

Honestly, if you told me
that one day

I'd get to even sit in this thing,

I'd never have believed you,
but I'm driving it!

But that wasn't all
the 79 had to give...

..because Lotus said I could drive
one lap - just one lap -

with the car's revolutionary vacuum
inducing skirts all the way down.

Full ground effect mode.

Skirts down, the skirts are down.

They don't go down very often.

Oh, you can feel the down force
even at medium speed.

It's just so agile.

So, let's take the fastest corner
at Hethel with the skirts down.

Accelerating in third, fourth,
fifth gear now. Skirts down.

Turn it in quicker
than I had before.



Ground effect! Ground effect!

The Lotus 79 gave me everything
that I needed.

It was a step forward.

We were right at the very
beginning of something very big.

The 79 was obviously an incredibly
important car

because it was a step
change in technology.

The 79 is just...

It's one of those cars that will
always be one of the greatest.


Track car, beautiful.

So... Let's clear one thing up.

Ground effect keeps the car
stuck to the ground

but F1 don't use it any more.
Why not?

It was banned in 1982, because
ground effect was too effective.

It effectively created even
faster accidents

because racing drivers pushed
so hard, so they got rid of it.

Even so, you looked like you were
having the time of your life.

I've never seen you as happy.

To be fair, I've never seen you
happy, like, but...

All right, working with you two,

it's a strange feeling,
I have to say.

Well, let's end it there before
he discovers any other emotions,

because that is the end of this
series and it's been brilliant.

We've been to the most amazing
places - Ethiopia, Borneo, Iceland.

And Telford. Telford, yes!

We've laughed a bit, we've
crashed... Well, he's crashed a lot.

Honestly, it's been a blast and
we can't wait to do it all again.

We'll be back later in the year
with a properly massive adventure.

Thanks so much for watching.