Top Gear (2002–…): Season 28, Episode 4 - Episode #28.4 - full transcript

Freddie and Chris tackle the toughest off-road race on the planet: the brutal Baja 1000. Out on the track, there is a showdown between a Renault hot hatch, a Porsche sports car - and an old...


Hello, welcome to Top Gear.

Tonight, folks,
we've got a real treat -

Chris Harris tries to argue
that a "Ren-alt" is better than

- a Porsche or a Lamborghini.
Classic Harris. - I know, it's Harris.

First of all, it's a "Renault". OK?

Second of all, can you allow me

to offer a bit of context in that,

- No, because Fred's got
a bit of news. - Yes, I have, Paddy.

Because, last series,
Chris and I went to Iceland

to try our hands at the brutal
motorsport of Formula Off Road.

And, to the producers' surprise,
we actually did pretty well.

Sixth and seventh, Fred.

Whoa, whoa, lads.
Six and seventh in Iceland.

There's only nine people live there.

Yeah, but...
Nevertheless, we smashed that.

And the producers asked if we wanted
an even bigger challenge -

a legendary desert race in Mexico.
So I said, "Yeah, go on, then."

- In hindsight, not one
of your better moves. - No. - No, no.

This is the Baja Peninsula.

A wild, rocky spur of Mexican
wilderness jutting into the Pacific.

It is the ideal setting
for a truly brutal off-road race.

I can see you've gone
really serious on me.

You're starting to fret, aren't you?

- This is the Baja 1000, Fred. - Yeah?

We are in at the deepest of ends.

Mate, we're going round the desert
in a buggy.

This is going to be fun.
This is going to be a laugh.

- We've done Formula Off Road
in Iceland. - Yeah.

It can't be any worse.

OK, Formula Off Road Iceland is
self-contained in a quarry pit.

- Yeah. - You're never more than
about 100 yards from someone

with a fire extinguisher, or to
help you get out of a damaged car.

Here, we could be
three hours from anyone.

Nearest rescue service?

A vulture.

Yeah, but you're focusing
on the wrong things.

You're overthinking it.

VOICEOVER: I wasn't.

The Baja 1000 has spent more
than 50 years building a reputation

as one of the toughest
endurance races in motorsport.

The latest race,
the one we would be entering,

would be an 800-mile charge

with only the occasional fuel stop
for respite.

This is an event
where even reaching the finish

takes skill and experience.

So it's just as well our team boss
had plenty of both.

- Mr Robby Gordon. - Chris Harris.

- Freddie, how are you?
- Nice to meet you, pal.

- How many times have you done this?
- This is probably my 30th Baja 1000.

- 30th? - 30.
Maybe a little more, maybe 35.

Do you think we're insane,

undertaking this
with this little practice, or not?

You know, this race is so different

than anything you
guys have experienced.

You guys have both raced before
and, you know, have done, you know,

Le Mans, other places like that, or
test driven high-performance cars.

But you've got to remember,
Baja will bite you.

- Yeah. - You know,
this is not a...

Everybody thinks
it's a race against competitors.

It's a race against you
and your machine surviving.

- How dangerous is this?
- Well, you know...

It's dangerous.
There will be a minimum of one

and probably a maximum of three
in this event.

- What? - Deaths.

One to three.

- OK. - What,
that's the norm every year?

It is, and that's why you guys
have got to be really smart

about the decisions you make.

I was quite good about this
a minute ago.

We needed some time
behind the wheel.

And as we'd be racing

in the hotly-contested
Pro UTV Forced Induction class...


..Robby had prime lined up
a practice vehicle

for us to get to grips with.


Since Harris had got us
warmed up on the beach,

next I took us for a run on
a section of the Baja course itself.




Wow, look at that.

Sensational stuff.

- What a dream.
- It's going to be amazing. - Gorgeous.


This is going to be
a real adventure.

VOICEOVER: We were starting to catch
the Baja bug.


And, eager for more, after practice,

we headed over to the paddock
to soak up the atmosphere

and see what else was running
in the 250-strong field.

How cool does that look?

I'm getting a bit excited,
to be honest.

Look at this!

Herbie does the Baja.

- If you liked Tamiya models
in the '80s... - Yeah, yeah.

..that is a Sand Scorcher.
That is it. The classic Baja.

How cool does that look?

How many are there in this series?

- There's the San Felipe 250... - Yeah?

- ..the Baja 500... - Yeah.
- ..the Baja 400, and the Baja 1000.

So we've just come straight in
at the 1000.

Go big or go home!

- This is a full-spec trophy truck?
- Yeah, full-spec trophy truck.

- So you're trying to win this. - Yeah!

- We're doing it for the first time.
- You're in for an adventure.

- Remember that, if you do not
respect this place... - Yeah.'s going to bite you
in the butt in a hurry.

With a growing sense of excitement
and apprehension for what lay ahead,

our last job for the day
was to head to the team garage

and check out the set-up
for the race itself.

There's a lot going on here, Fred.
Look at the scale of it.

There's lots of everything.

- I can see our car. - Where? - Here.


OK. This is more serious than
the thing we've been testing in.

- First of all - suspension, Fred.
- Yeah?

Much bigger. Bigger dampers,
more wheel travel.

And this is longer.
It's a longer wheelbase.

That's the thing I noticed first up.

- That'll help, won't it?
- Miles better.

So it'll be more stable, it'll be
a little bit lazier in the turns...

- Yeah. - ..but it will land better.
- It's an impressive machine.

One of these finished
ninth overall last year.

Just as well, then,
that while Harris and I

took turns in the driver's seat,

we'd be getting help from
a seriously experienced navigator.

- I'm Fred. - Bill Conger.
Good to meet you.

- Hi, Bill. Nice to meet you.
- Hi, Bill. - Hey.

How many times have you done this?

So, honestly, for me, this race is
my first time doing the 1000. Um...

But it's not...
It's not a total rookie squad here.

I've done the Dakar three times.

- You've done Dakar three times?
- I've done Dakar three times.

- That is enough for me. - So...

And then I've also done
the Baja Rally, the Sonora Rally,

the Cortez Rally
and all that kind of stuff,

and some other off-road racing.

what are our chances of finishing?

I think they're really good.

It is racing, it is off-road racing,
which is really hard.

It's that freak little thing that,
no matter how much you prepare for,

something just kind of jumps up
and gets you.

Those are the things
we've got to worry about.

We had a lot to think about.

And, with Bill's wisdom
still ringing in our ears,

all we could do now was rest up
as best we could

for the next day's race.


People reckon, sometimes,
I don't get nervous.

But that's so far from the truth.

I actually like nerves.

I think, for a lot of my life,
I was used to living with them.

Every time I went out to play
cricket, I was full of nerves.

I embrace them, I enjoy them.

Makes you faster, makes you sharper.
Means you're alive and having fun.


- I see you've got your passports
with you. - Yeah.

You've got to carry these with you
on-course at all times.

We're in Mexico. If something
were to happen, a medical issue,

the best thing is to get you back
as quick as possible.

Cheers, mate.

Cheers, boss.

- Please be safe. - I will.
- I mean that as well. - I will, I will.

- Good luck, mate.
- Thank you, boss. - Bill.

Thank you. Good luck, mate.
Be safe. Go well, big lad.

- OK, can you hear me? - Oh, yeah.
How you doing? - Yeah, we're good.

ANNOUNCER: Ensenada,
Baja California...

Come on, Harris!

The team was ready,
the wait was over.

It was time to take our place
on the start line.

Go on up.


- It's gone. We're dead. - Oh, no!

God dammit!

LAUGHING: This is not the start
we wanted!

- What's up? - The battery's gone flat.

So we're going to miss
our start position,

- but it's a 24-hour race, boss. - Yeah.
- I'm not... I can't get stressed.

We're just going to have to go
when we go.

VOICEOVER: With the car

our hope was that,
once up and running,

it'd keep itself charged.

Five, four, three, two, one, go!

Go on, Chris!

2997. Out of London,
this is Chris Harris.

Here we go.
We've started the Baja 1000!

The race began with
a staggered parade start -

a short drive to the edge of town,

where we'd join the queue waiting
to cross the first timing gate.

But with just moments
until our race clock started...

Stop right here, stop right here.

..Bill discovered
we had another problem,

this time with the GPS.

This thing hasn't found our signal.

It's showing us way down here,
versus where we're supposed to be.

It's a little concerning.

We'll figure it out.

Heading into one of the world's
toughest off-road races

with no means of navigation
is not what you'd call ideal.

But with no time for a repair
before the start,

we just had to head out
and hope for the best.

- Well, it's going to be an adventure,
whatever way we look at it. - Yeah.

Watch the green light for you to go!

- And there's a lot of people
on course. - OK.

This is all new territory.

It should flash and then buzz, OK?


Our Baja had begun.

After a shaky start, 800 miles of
off-road punishment now lay ahead.

The plan was to run the race
as a relay,

changing drivers and running repairs
at pre-agreed checkpoints,

all the way to the finish.

And with Harris now taking
the first 70-mile stint

to settle us into the race,

I was short-cutting ahead by road to
wait for my turn to take the wheel.

When Chris gets going,
he's going to go.

I could see it in him.

I think we're hoping
it's going to take him about

two and a half hours or so.

So he's going to be giving it some.



Think Chris has wanted to do this
for so long,

and he's spoken about that.

But that brings us an extra sense
of responsibility for me

to get my legs of the race done,

and get round and make sure
that Chris finishes the race.

Whoo! This is the Baja
I've always dreamed of.

Yeah! 23 miles in, man.

Only 780 to go.


That does not sound good.


All gone.

- Gone. - See about reverse?
- No, there's nothing, mate.

- And we're in a bad place here.
- Yeah. - What do we do?

- Oh, deary me. - Shut it off.
It's just a belt. Shut it off.



And all the good work we'd done,
overtaking everyone -

we lose all of that.


VOICEOVER: The gearbox's belt drive
had snapped...

..which would normally be
a pretty quick fix,

but ours had taken
a load of wiring with it.

So, while up ahead Flintoff
had arrived at the 70-mile marker

bang on schedule,
he was in for a wait.

We're stealing wires from the front
of the car... put them back here.

So the belt came off and has just
taken out a load of stuff in there.

Yeah, not the start we wanted.

Chris has been stuck
for a while at 29 miles.

He was making good progress as well.

As time ticked away, all I could do
was stay rested for the drive ahead.

Fire it up.


- I think we have a fix! - Yes, baby!

We had lost an hour and 38 minutes.

And with the first handover point
still 50 miles away,

our goal of hitting it in two and
a half hours was now impossible.

- It's a bit lonely back here,
isn't it? - Yeah.

VOICEOVER: With a lot of ground
to make up, though,

I soon discovered that falling
THAT far behind in the Baja...

..throws up
a whole new set of challenges.

- BLEEP! Look at this.
- Yeah, they're all leaving.

The big race has come through.

So we're driving along now,

we're so far behind,
all the spectators are leaving,

so there's, like,
RVs in the middle of the road.



This is the most insane thing
I've ever done.

- Yeah, as far as they're concerned,
the race is over. - This is nuts!

Everyone's saying
the first bit's the easiest

and you just ease into it.


And this was... I was hoping...

The first bit for me,

I'm going to be going
down the side of the beach,

it's going to be beautiful,
the sun will be setting,

the helicopter will be out at sea,
taking the hero shot,

and I'll be waving to the camera.

Oh, no, it's going to be

Brilliant. I don't even
like the dark.

Oh, Chris Harris.

Flintoff did have a point.

Giving anyone their first ever run
at the Baja in the dark

would be a huge risk.

He needed to get some miles in
in daylight.

I needed to start
covering some ground.




Come on!

Is there any word on him?

Come on, Fred.
I'm going to get this to you, mate.

I'm going to get this car to you.

Now deep into the stage, and with
the shadows growing longer, though,

the course began to fragment.

Er, where are we going?


Suddenly, our broken GPS
went from being an inconvenience

to a disaster.

Whoa, whoa. Hold on a sec.

Um, did we miss a turn?

I don't know.

There was a green arrow,
or a green thing that said "wrong".

And you can't see
where we are either, can you?

This isn't right. Just pull off
to the side, to the right.

Jesus, this is getting ridiculous.

I've had some days on my own,
wasting my time in cricket fields.

This is right up there.
The side of a road!

- Must be down there. - Which way
did we come from? - Back that way.

I'm still going towards the sun.

We'd found our way back on
to the right track.

But, all too soon,
the Baja bit us again.


- The radio went. - You there? - Yeah.

Mate, it's smoking.
I've got no power steering.

OK, if it's no power steering,
pull over here,

or in the middle is fine.
Right here.

It's smoking.

It was a big impact -
left, underneath me.

Dude, I don't want to be in here
when it's smoking.

I don't like it, I'm getting out.

I don't like it.

Sorry, I don't like it.

It's just overheating,
it's not fire.

- Come on, be Chris Harris.

LAUGHING: Oh, stand down,
stand down.

Our last nine miles
to the checkpoint

would now be a wrestling match.

Just going to crawl it now,
it's too heavy.

Yeah, just do the best you can.

With dusk falling,
we finally reached mile 70.

It was time to take
a proper look at the damage.

Speed support, do you copy?
Approaching the road.

Hang on, I can hear a car.

Surely not.

Surely not.

He's here! Come on, Harris!

That's great work, mate.
Thank you very much.

Without you,
we wouldn't have got this far.

You did a good job, man.
Let's shut it down.

How are we, pal?

Right, Fred, let me get out.
I would take your balaclava off,

- you're not going anywhere for
a while. - Really? - No.

As the mechanics got to work on
the car, all we could do was wait.

I think they have found what went
wrong with the power steering.

They found some loose wires but
they don't know how that happened

- so they've got to work that out.
- What about the GPS, though?

You do need that cos
I got lost in the daylight.

Our race was slipping away.

You just cannot drive it
without power steering.

- I'm going to have to try - No, it's
dangerous, cos if you're on an edge

and you've suddenly got to make
an adjustment, you just can't.

You're a big lad but I don't care
how strong you are, it's...

It's not possible.

Now almost five hours
behind schedule,

the team concluded that the GPS

and failed power steering
were both fixable

but only by driving the car
all the way back to the workshop,

where the whole system
would have to be replaced.

They reckoned it was
a four-hour job.

If and when we do get going again,
what about locals?

Are you saying about people...?

The problem is, if you're
so far behind on the course,

they start shutting up shop
and just coming back down the stage

and it's so big
there's no-one marshalling it.

It's quite interesting.

And this, ultimately,
was the real issue.

Every minute we lost
increased the risks.

And, now, facing the prospect
of running nine hours

off the back of the field,
with 730 miles still left to run,

the danger to us and to the public
was simply too great.

The producers had to call it.

I am genuinely...gutted.

Our Baja...

..was over.


Double-teapot for me. Double-teapot.

You didn't quite manage
the Baja 1000 but congratulations -

you did complete the Baja 70.
DRYLY: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Cheap shot, Paddy.

We desperately wanted to finish the
race but the vehicle let us down.

Within 70 miles, we had no power
steering, we basically had no GPS -

which is quite difficult

when you're trying to navigate
1,000 miles round Mexico -

and we were out before we'd
started, really. It was awful.

Will you stop saying "we", please?

I never even got the chance to
drive, it was you.

"We this, we that."

If there is one good thing
that comes out of it,

we can go back next year
but in a proper car.

- Yeah, we are not done with Baja, are
we? - No chance. - Good luck with that,

you two. Moving on.

Just occasionally on Top Gear,
we get accused of not featuring

enough real-world cars. You know,
the cars people actually buy.

And that is completely
and utterly...

Well, it's actually true.
It's quite true.

- So Chris Harris is here to put
things right. - I am indeed, Patrick.

Right, forget
supercars for just one minute.

The producers have assembled the
most important new cars released

in the last 12 months for under
30 grand...ish...and ordered me

to tell you which ones to buy
and which ones to avoid.

Starting here with
a group of under-Ł17,000 rather

ordinary-looking hatchbacks.

Let me give you the Skoda Scala.

Worthy but oh,
so dull. You can do more.

I know it's spacious and it's quite
nicely built but come on,

Skodas used to be funky
and interesting.

Here we go. The Vauxhall Corsa.

Would you believe it? Underneath,

it's the identical car
to that Peugeot.

But Peugeot actually employed
a designer to make it look nice,

whereas this, it still looks a bit
driving school, doesn't it?

So, for me, the 208, of those two,
is the one to have.

And also this is the best-looking
small car for years

and a resurrection of a great
Peugeot driver's car. Fantastic.

The Renault Clio?
Well, this is the new one.

Looks like the last one
but the interior is now bang on

and it's comfortable but who wants
a mature Renault Clio? Not me.

Moving on, sub-19 grand.

Let's start with this one here,

the Skoda Kamiq.

Another slightly unnecessary
crossover-y, hatchback-y thing.

However, look at this.
Come under here, boys and girls.

See that there where you
fill your washer fluid up?

You know you get splashes

If you do this, it creates a nice
little cup for you washer fluid

to go in and it's soft,
rubbery plastic.

Lovely touch. Also, round here,
open the driver's door and boom!

An integrated brolly. The only other
car that has that is a Rolls-Royce.

Moving across.

The Nissan Juke.

This thing is responsible for
the entire small crossover breed.

They're like rats.
This thing should be annihilated.

It's better than the last one.
Still hateful.

This here is the MG HS.
That doesn't stand for High Speed.

An exclusive motor car because
no-one else will be silly enough

to buy one.

Here we go.

The Volkswagen T-Cross.

Convinces you it's a really good
everyday car until you

realise you could just have a Golf
and not look as much of a wally.

Moving on.


At my age, that seems like
an awful lot of money.

If you told me a Toyota Corolla
would be 24 grand, I'd have

laughed at you but it is.
And do you know what?

For the first time ever,
they've made it quite

good-looking but underneath
it's pretty dull.

Hybrid powertrains
are a bit groany

and it has a CVT gearbox. Those are
the ones that make your car sound

like a cow that's giving birth,
you know? Moo!

Here we go. This is the Mazda3.

Mazda is on point
with its styling at the moment.

This car looks great on the road.

It's got that weird SkyActiv engine,
not turbo-charged.

Again, a bit of a moo-y car but
I think that's a great-looking car.

This thing here is the Kia XCeed
so that Kia could give us

another play on the word "Ceed".

It's a slightly taller hatchback
that doesn't really do much

more than a hatchback. Avoid.

Mazda again with another
great-looking car,

this time the CX-30.

It's kind of tall, a crossover-y
thing which reminds us

that you should really
buy the...Mazda3.

Now, all of these are over 24,000,
some of them quite a bit more.

Let's start with the new BMW 1
Series. Endorsing their new styling

philosophy - make a car
a bit ordinary looking

and then slap a massive pair of butt
cheeks on the front. Don't do it.

Underneath, it's actually
just a Mini.

The last 1 Series was an interesting
car, this one...not for me. However,

if you want even more
horrible-looking, the Lexus UX.

Do you remember in pottery class
when you used to break in

and wreck other people's pots?

That's what happened to the styling
of that. It looks absolutely awful.

And it's got a CVT gearbox
so it's horrible to drive, too.

The BMW 3 Series Touring. All
the car you could ever, ever need.

You might have spotted the one
I like the most.

Cos it's not the Toyota Camry.

It'll last forever but it's just
dull, isn't it? It really is.

But, future minicabbers,
meet your new car.

Now, if you force me to choose
one car from this entire group...

..I'd have a Mazda3.

I think it's the most

and sounding family car
launched in the last year.

Now, let's go and drive some fast,
interesting cars.


We'll cover all the basics, Fred,
cover all the basics.

I've got to say, Chris,

I am always impressed with your
top-quality scurrying.

You scurry with the best of them.

When it comes to scurrying,
I reckon he is the best.

You're like a little mouse who knows
just a bit too much about cars.

You lend me those teeth,
I could be a rat.

Oh! Oh, better move on.

Now it's time to meet our studio
guests who tonight are acting

legends and cousins
Emilia and Laurence Fox.

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

- Savage. - I'm not bothered. - Savage.

Come on, look who's here. Hello.

- Hi. - Hello, hello. - How are ya?

Come on. All right?

OK, welcome to the Top Gear
Width Restrictor Challenge 2.0.

We've made it a little bit
more crashier.

Fastest through the barriers wins.

- Your speed will be
recorded at the last barrier. - OK.

I know you love your Jags. We've got
you the XJ. Look at that.

- What a beauty.
- Is that good news for you?

- I had one of those. - OK.
So you're used to your car.

Home from home. Right, Emilia,
you're up first.

- All right, well... - Love you, babe.
Come on, you can do it.

What would you drive?
How fast would you drive through it?

I'd just try
and see how fast the car would go,

just keep your foot down,
not lift it off.

The last person you want giving you
therapy at this moment...

- You don't want him. -
Andrew Flintoff. You don't need him.

- You ready? - No, not really. I don't
think I'm ever going to be ready.

OK, best of luck.
Three, two, one, go!

I've never driven at speed
in my life!

You're at 50 already.
You're up to 60.

Where are the things?

They're coming up now, you can
see them starting coming here.

- Fred, I feel sick. - Here we go.
Don't brake, don't brake.

- I can't do it! - Go, Emilia!
Go, Emilia! - Yes, I can do it.

- I can do it, I can do it, I can do
it. - Yes, Emilia, go, go, yes, yes.

She's fine. All in one piece.

Just the wing mirror.
That's a good run.



- Oh, dear.
- That's OK.

- Oh, dear. - I think
we can let you have that.

Right, so, entering the bollards,
you went in at 54mph.

- All right. Sorry.
- Leaving the bollards, Mr Harris?

- 46mph. - No, I did not. - You did.

- I slowed down? - I think
it was the little...

It was the little bump,
it might have just... You just...

Reaction, you've come
off the accelerator a little bit.

So sorry, Fred. I'm so sorry.

- Right, OK, Laurence.
- Boys, we're in. - Get yourself in.

I don't think we need much
build-up here. We're confident.

We've determined our strategy
and I think, either way,

- it's going to be spectacular.
- Yeah. Are you ready?

Best of luck, Laurence. Here we go.

- Three... - Go through at 30...
- ..two, one, go! - Go!

- Two hands on the wheel is all I ask!
- All right.

I can hear the engine,
he's having a go!

Speed up.


He's having a go.

80. We're going to hit 100.

I think just stand back
a little bit, everybody.

Remember, just relax your shoulders.

Relax the shoulders.

LAUGHING: It's coming up on us now.

- To the left a bit. That's it.
Oh, it's good. It's good. - Oh!



You've stayed flat from the top
and you haven't even brushed it!

- Wow! - Whoo!

- Hey...
- Oh, my goodness.

- Yeah. Now, then. - You were amazing.
- Laurence... - Wow.

- Do you want the good news or the bad
news? - Oh, please, the good news.

We've not hit anything.
There can be no bad news.

Well, the bad news was for me

because I held the series
record at this at 106.

That has been beaten.

Get in!

Didn't even hit a pillar.
That was unbelievable.

You've gone through at 110mph.

- Thank you! Amazing! - Well done!

Amazing work. Amazing work.

Come on, let's go
and get you a cup of tea

and give you some loose change.

- That was amazing!
- Nailed it. Love it.


Please welcome to the sofa
Emilia and Laurence Fox!


That was so great. It was funny.

- Oh! - Oh!

Laurence! That was unbelievable!

Was it down to your driving
or Chris' coaching?

- Chris' coaching. Wow.
- What, "Relax the shoulders"?

Yeah, he was going,
"Relax the shoulders."

And I was like, "What do you mean?"

It was terrifying.

Obviously you spend
a lot of time together,

you're quite competitive, how would
you describe each other's driving?

How would you describe
Laurence's driving, Emilia?

- I don't know if I've driven
with you. - I've driven with you.

- You're usually driving cos
I'm on the old sauce. - Oh, yeah.


It's a relationship made in heaven.

What about Emilia's driving?

- She's... - Really boring. - She would
just let the whole world go.

"No, no, after you.
You must overtake.

"Would you like this parking space?
No, I don't need it. You go."


- Fair enough. - Right, car history.
There's two lists here.

- One is very, very short. - Yeah.
- One's very, very long.

Emilia, what was your first car?

Mine was a VW Golf that
I bought with my first

wages from my first proper job.

I was so proud of it
and it lasted me for 16 years.

- Same car? - Same car.

How many miles in 16 years?

Oh, I don't
know about things like that.

I never checked that bit,
it just ran out of, you know,

being able

- It just died? - It just died.
- Did it? - Yeah. - How sad.

Your list of cars is long
and there's a weakness in
there for me, it's lovely,

- you love Jaguars, don't you?
- I do love a Jag, yeah.

- Old, ropey, slightly smoky Jag.
- Yeah, like me.

- Old, ropey and slightly smoky.
- Which ones have you had?

- XJ6? - I've had XJ6, XJ8,
erm...XKR, XKR-S, XFR.

Did you have any problems with
the XKR? I got one delivered

when I was younger...
Your one broke. It broke down

within five minutes. Straight back.

I was in the passenger seat,

and I was touring
and I fell asleep and my mate,

who was touring with me, was driving

and I woke up and I looked across
and he was doing 160 or 155

and I went,
"Dude, you're going at 160mph."

And he went, "Oh, BLEEP!"

And we nearly lost it all,
which was quite scary.

So if someone's going 160 without
realising it, don't tell them.

What about you, Emilia,
have you had any crashes?

Um, on, again, one of my first
jobs I couldn't drive, I hadn't

passed my driving test and they
gave me some stunt driving lessons

and then put some contact lenses in
my eyes, so I couldn't really see,

put me on a road which was wet and
leaves had fallen, a private road,

and then said,
"Drive as fast as you can."

So I drove as fast as I could and
then turned the corner but I hadn't

thought about braking beforehand
and so just careered towards a tree,

turned at the last moment,
flipped the car into a ditch.

It's easily done, that.

Laurence, you love your bikes,
don't you?

Tell me about some of the bikes
you've had over the years.

I've had... I started off with
a really nice CB125.

I had a 1098 S which I loved
and now I'm on an R1.

An R1? As a little runaround?

Well, it is actually often
used as a runaround now

but I track it as well, I do quite
like a track day. Yeah, yeah.

- You've got a story about an X5,
an SUV, haven't you? - I have.

I was motorbiking back from
meeting someone for lunch

and a lady in an X5,

she was small enough
that she couldn't see over

the rim of the door, did a U-turn
just as it gets a tiny bit

fatter off Albert Bridge
and I ended up lying on top of her.

- In the car? - Yeah,
she did that, I did that,

through the passenger side window

and then I, like an Englishman,
got out and went, "Sorry."

Picked up the bike and kind of...

..and went home.
It was very painful.

It is time for business, to find out
how your time laps went.

Emilia, what was it like
out there with the Stig?

- I got confidence from the Stig,
yeah. - Did you enjoy it?

I really did, I loved it
and then just wanted to keep going.

Let's have a look at your lap.
I'm interested in this one.

Here we go, right, off the line,
looking lively.

I've never driven fast in my life.

It's damp, it's wet
so it's tricky conditions.

I don't even like going
on a roller-coaster

so this is quite an experience.

I'd say the entry into the first
corner is cautious.

Using all the circuit.
Could be up a gear, there.

Bit cautious there, bit cautious,
bit cautious, bit cautious.

Come on, let's pick up
some speed now.

Round the corner.
That's a good line.

Last time I drove a car at speed
in these conditions...

..I rolled the car.

Into the hammerhead. Difficult to
see the lines, isn't it, in the wet?

Totally! Yeah.

Getting the power down.
This looks very neat and tidy.

Here we go. Foot flat on the floor.

Zoom! And no brake lights.

Massive oversteer
saved by the car's computer.

- Saved by the computer?
- And now coming into second to last.

What? I thought that was me.

- Tricky direction change. - It was you.
- I swear that felt fast.

I'll change that, we'll edit that.

That was definitely saved
by Emilia. Now Gambon.

Over the line. Yes.
I reckon that was slick.

I thought I saved it.
Did I not save it?

I wasn't being uncharitable.

I don't mind if you were
cos I'm really embarrassed.

That looked really slow,
it felt really fast.

- Before I give you your time... - Yeah.
- ..where do you think...?

I know where I am,
I'm right there, down the bottom.

- I don't think you are.
- There's a little space there.

I don't think you are.

Emilia, I don't know if you're going
to be happy or sad with this.

I'm just happy to have
been on the show, guys.

That's quite handy, that.

It is a wet time. I can tell you,
you went round our track...

- - Oh, don't,
it's so embarrassing!


- Oh, no, I'm so sorry.
- ..minutes... - I'm so sorry.

..1 second .9 and you've got a W for
the wet but, Emilia...

Oh, thanks so much!

PADDY: I thought you would have been
a bit higher up.

I thought you would have been a bit
higher up.

You did well.

- It was really slippery. - Huh?
- It was slippery and difficult.

Can I just say, before we see
your lap, Laurence, today, us three,

we were in our little
dressing room -

if you can call it that,
it's just a shack -

and we were having a cup of tea
and we could hear your lap

and we actually said,
"This sounds fast."

I mean, we could hear you screeching
and braking, everything else,

so...looking forward to this one.

Who wants to see Laurence's lap?

- CHRIS: That sounded wild.
- Let's have a look.

Off the line. Come on.

OK. So, two hands on the
steering wheel always good.

He's braking so hard he's triggering
the hazard warning lights.

That means you've reached
the maximum.

OK, brake.

Did you find it tricky
to find the line?

Those white lines,
you can't see them

and when it's wet
it's much more difficult.

Oh, look at the back end
dancing around.

Nice little drift, baby.
Nice little drift.

That's a great line in there.
This is fast, in these conditions.

Is there one corner you haven't
done a massive slide on?

- Using all the power.
- Right, we're going to get this.

This is a good lap, man.

You can't go through there much
quicker in this weather.

Through the tyre wall.
Now, let's have a look for this.

- We're looking for commitment.
- Come on, Loz. Get through here.

- Oh! - Dear God, that was fast!

I think I might have just
broken something.

In fact, I'm fairly confident
I did just break something.

For which I'd like to apologise.

Now, the trickiest entry point
on the circuit, second to last.

You are not lacking a pair of spuds,
are you? Look at this.

Slippery, slippery.

And over the line.

My heart's racing for you.

Laurence, where do you think
we're looking?

If I was up close to McAvoy
I'd be happy. Where's McAvoy?

He's 1.47 something.

Not seen anything quicker in
the wet for a long time, visually.

If that was in the dry we'd have to
put the time on the roof, I reckon.

Yes. That was impressive.

Laurence Fox, I can tell you...
you did it in 1 minute...40...

..5... Yes, get in! ...6.
Just under Vicky McClure.

- McAvoy, blown him out the water.
- Well done.

- That is brilliant.
- I'm well chuffed with that.

- That's fast. - Very fast.

Serious bit of driving.

Ladies and gentlemen, Emilia
and Laurence Fox, everybody!


- Thank you. - You did so well.
You did awesome.

Right, time for a review of
one of the most important

performance cars of the year.

It comes from Renault.

And while it might
look like a regular Megane hatchback

that's got a bit keen with
the lipstick,

it is in fact a whole lot
more than that.

This is the Megane RS Trophy-R.

And it is the hottest
of hot hatches.

Not because I've got acceleration
that can pull my face off

because, well, I haven't.

What I have got is a 300 horsepower
turbo-charged four-cylinder engine.

Top speed - 163.

0 to 60 - 5.5 seconds.

So it's impressive but nothing
like as fast as the quick Germans.

No, the reason why this is
the hottest of hot hatches is it

can do this.



This thing
absolutely loves the corners!

Turning is superb, even in the wet.

It's bonkers!

It's like a little touring car.

The regular Megane's a bit so-so
but this thing is a little monster.

A big part of the Trophy-R's
remarkable transformation

is down to a crash diet.

The wheels are carbon fibre,
saving 16 kilos.

The bonnet is carbon fibre,
saving eight kilos.

There's thinner glass,
saving another kilo,

and the rear seats are gone,
making this perhaps the only

hatchback with dedicated
doors for your shopping.

They even used a smaller sat nav
screen from lesser Meganes

to save 250g.

All in, they've saved 130kg
over the standard Megane RS.

That is Christian Bale-levels
of dedication to the role.

Plus, what Renault has
left behind is the real deal.

Unlike most hot hatches, there
are no big wings and spoilers.

Oh, no, here we've got
an F1-style diffuser at the back

and a new bonnet arrangement
to give more down force.

Very cool indeed.

It's even got fully adjustable
suspension, although you should

probably leave it alone cos you'll
just end up ruining the handling.


And then there are the brakes.

Massive carbon ceramic rotors up
front and they are just immense!

They're savage!

I'm just hanging on for dear life!

In a hatchback!

It's a complete hooligan.

But the best part of it all
is that the Trophy-R is a very

traditional hooligan.

There's no flappy paddle gear
shift, there's no hybrid system,

there's no four-wheel drive.

This is the hot hatch recipe
that we've known

and loved for 40 years but it's been
refined and distilled and perfected.

And you know what? It is brilliant.

Now, such brilliance
doesn't come cheap.

Those carbon wheels - Ł12,000.

And the carbon ceramic
brakes behind them - Ł9,000.

All in, this car...Ł72,000.

Now, viewed as a hot hatch,
that's a lot of money but judged

purely as a driving experience,
honestly, it's not bad value.

Because this is up there with
the best from Porsche and Ferrari.

- What?

Can't they leave me alone just for
a couple of minutes

to do a serious car review?

- 70 grand for that? - 72, actually.

- All right,
72 grand for a Renault Megane. - Yeah.

You know what else you can
buy for that money?

- Well, I'm guessing you're going to
say a Cayman GT4. - Yeah.

Four cylinders. Six cylinders.

300 brake horsepower. Over 400.

Front-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive.

A family hatchback with
back seats ripped out.

- A sports car two-seater proper.
- Have you finished?

No, I'm only just getting started
but you can have a word.

This thing has got all the trick
bits and some more on it.

But one of their brags is it
its time by the Nurburgring,

what is it, 7 minutes 40?

- This is 12 seconds faster. - Mate, if
you judge your life purely on lap...

Here we go.

Paddy McGuinness in
an old Lamborghini.

It wasn't if,
it was when, wasn't it?

Did you get that
when you bought the nail bar?


Who'd have thought it?

70 grand gets you a second-hand
Lamborghini Gallardo.

So what you're saying is,
Lamborghinis depreciate a lot.

- And they don't age with much
dignity. - What you saying?

I'm saying you could buy a new car
with a three-year warranty

that could pound round a track
all day long or you can

mess about in a convertible
Lamborghini that'll probably

break down and cost you an absolute
fortune. What are you doing?

I've heard they're all mouth
and no trousers.

500 brake horse. V10 engine.

These are what as known as
all trousers with

a pair of trousers over the top.

There's only one way to find out,
isn't there?

- Drag race. - Oh. - Yeah?

OK, Mr Megane, I apologise.

This is not what you were designed
to do but my two colleagues here

are idiots and reduce everything
to simple things like drag races.

- Fred. - Hi, Chris.

Do you think Diana Ross is going to
ask for her coat back from Paddy?

- It is a look, isn't it, that?
- Here we go.


Three, two, one.

And we're off!

- Come on, come on!
- The Lamborghini's gone.

This car is a little beauty!

V10 engine.
Only 36,000 miles on the clock.

And this thing'll do 196mph.

That Lamborghini is not
getting away.

Get past the Megane.

Here comes the Porsche,
here comes the Porsche.

The Porsche is coming past me.

I'm catching him.

I've won! Bellissimo!

Nearly caught Paddy.

Oh, it's much closer
than I thought it was going to be.

There is a glory in a 300 horsepower
hatchback being

- so close to these two.
- But it wasn't, was it? - It was.

- You were five car lengths back.
- Less than four.

- What are your wheels made of?
- Carbon fibre. - Carbon fibre.

- Impressive. - To make them
good on a track, not in a drag race.

- Dear me. Sorry, are you saying
it's a track car now? - Yeah, it is.

So, my old Italian Lamborghini
has just beaten your brand-new

- track car. - In a straight line.

I've got a Lambo but the bigger one,
the Murcielago.

- It is an expensive hobby. - The man's
one rather than the boy's one.

Yeah. I tell you what,
they're expensive. Watch this.

Here we go. I'm going to give
a mechanic a ring about it.

Do you want me to translate
Italian or anything?

- Made by Audi, you big fraud! - Listen,
I'm phoning Neil up at Lamborghini.

- Neil! Neil at Lamborghini. Of
course it's Neil. - He's from Turin.

- Good afternoon, Neil speaking.
- Hello, Neil,

my name's Paddy McGuinness.
No likey, no lighty.

I've got a Lamborghini Gallardo
and I'm terrible at parking.

I've reversed it into a bollard. How
much we talking to get that fixed?

If you're replacing the whole bumper
you're looking at about five grand

- plus the vat. - Five grand plus vat?
That's 20%.

The other news is I think
me clutch is going out.

If I want to change me clutch on it,
what am I looking at?

With a clutch you're
looking at about Ł3,500

plus the VAT, full parts and labour.

So I'm looking at ten grand to
get me car fixed? Ten grand?

- Ten grand to get your car fixed.
- Thanks for that, Neil.

Thank you, bye-bye.

- Clutch, what was it, three grand?
- Three and a half grand plus vat.

Well, that's cheap.

- Is it? - For a car like that...
- It's a clutch not a gearbox.

But it's also the servicing on them.

Every three years, you've got to do
a seven and a half grand service.

- They take it apart.
- Not disputing that.

What I'm saying is, at Ł70,000,
I think, if you just look at them

two cars you're going to pick
that all day long.

- Young kids don't have a picture of
that on their bedroom wall. - I did.

- They have a picture of that.
- I did. - It's only just come out.

- Did you go back in time?
- Have you finished?

I think we need another challenge,

- Oh, oh. He's doing his thing again.
- What we doing?

He's doing his thing where he didn't
win so we have another challenge.

The Top Gear North Loop
Handling Challenge.

Oh, the North Loop. All right.

I'm going to bung in a couple of
chicanes, add in a bit of spice.

- Right. - And then we'll see

which vehicle has the best
total performance.

When are you bunging in
a couple of chicanes?

Some cones over there.
I will go and assemble them now.

Fair play to him.

When he says he's going to put
a course out, he does it properly.

These cones are his own.
Keeps them at home in a shed.

The main event, this one. One lap.
Winner takes all.

- You're excited by this one.
- I am. - You really are.

- Shall I show you how it's done?
- Go on, then. - Yes!

- Good to go? - Yeah, I'm good.

Three, two, one, go!

- Oh. - Oh. - Oh. Oh.
That wasn't the best of starts.


What a thing this is for
a front-wheel drive hatchback.

So agile. It's got
a locking differential.

Renault's double knuckle
front suspension.

Giving it the beans down here.

- He's off now. He really wants this.
- Yeah.

Brakes are superb.
So much bite in them.

It's a bit of a rough section here.

Here he comes, here he comes.

- Oh. - Oh. - Whoa! - Whoa.

And across the line.

- Oh, well done.
- What is he doing?

Worth 32 grand now, that.

What was the time?

- 1. - Yeah. - 1. - Yeah. - 1.03.

I don't know whether that's good
or bad but I've tried my hardest.

This car has got to be at
least...five seconds in front

of these two.

- Why? - Cos you've been giving it,
"It's the big track car."

- Am I going next? - Yeah.

Time to beat - 1.11.03.

Three, two, one, go!

Come on, here we go.

The question with Fred is not
so much how many corners is

he going to hit but it's how many
is he not going to hit?

Oh, BLEEP cones!

There we go! Already gone!

The cone killer.

Coming round, come on.

Brake, brake, brake, brake.

If he beats me here I'm mortified.

How do you get into here?
I'm not quite sure.

Muscle it round.

- Go, go, go, go!
- Here he comes.

Not too bad, that.

- 1 minute. - Yeah.

- 16... - 16.

- ...66. - Not too bad. - But...'re on for the five-second
thing what I said before.

So if I can get lower than 1.16... theory's going to be correct.

So you've just set
a totally arbitrary target

- within our competition?
- Yes, I have.

Paddy, I can't hear you over
all the fans going on the car!

- Yes. - OK. Time to beat - 1.11.03.
- Yes.

Three, two, one, go!

Just get round here.

He knows where the accelerator is,
doesn't he?


Look at it.
It doesn't turn, does it?

He's got two under the front.


My world's gone mad!

- This is where he'll catch up.
- How good does it sound?

- It's a lovely car.
- What a noise.


Lively lady!

I think he's going to outbrake
himself here.

I can just see cones.
Where is it? There.

Good effort, mind.

- He's on the grass,
he's on the grass. - Oh, no, Paddy.


I'm not very happy
with what I'm looking at here.

- Shut up. Come on, what is it?
- What do you think you got?

- What is it? - Seriously,
what do you think you got?


- Lower. - 16. - Lower.

I'm not happy if it's lower than 11.

- I'm not happy. - I'll say 13.
- Look at the face on him.

- Go on. - Lower. - 1.11?!

No, it was 1.18.


Hey! Hey!

I'm in five seconds, aren't I?

No, you're not.


Five seconds!

Five-second rule.

Well done.

Well done. But, listen,
it's not about that, is it?

- But a Megane's beaten a Lamborghini.
- There you go. Headline. Headline.

- Didn't beat it in a straight line,
though, did it? - Headline.

- Megane... - In fact...

..that and the Porsche didn't
beat that in a straight line.

Sports cars are all about posing.
They're all about being stylish

so let's put it to
the social media audience.

I reckon we each take a picture of
our cars, no comments, no nothing,

just take a picture,
post it on your Instagram page,

- whoever gets the most likes wins.
- Whose Instagram account?

You put it on yours,
you put it on his...

You've got three times as many
followers as I have.

Yeah, but yours are all,
like, petrolheads,

- "Whoa, yeah, that's good! Whoa,
hot hatch, 70 grand!" - Dearie me.

Anyway, best of luck, chaps.

Best of luck, Padd, Chris.

Where's me phone? Right.





..let's see who got the most
likes on Instagram. Chris,

start with you. Let's have a look
what picture you posted.

Look at that. Classic hot hatchback
shot, three wheels, perfect.

But that's not Dunsfold,
that's Portimao.

A completely different track.

All right, OK. Let's have a look
how many likes he got.

Boom! Look at that.

- Not bad for a hatchback.
- Not bad, that. Right, Fred. - Yeah.

Your turn.
Let's have a look what you put up.

Oh, dear God.

- Oh, dear God. - Here we go.
- What? - Oh, dear God.


Stop it.

- Thank you.
- Stop the clapping.

Could you be any more
blue steel up there?

I'm not even trying.
I can't help the moneymaker.

Oh, my God!

What filter did you use on that?
Mutton dressed as lamb?

Really, did you just say
mutton dressed as lamb?

I'm holding it in. Right, OK, 9,900.

Fred, let's have a look
how many likes you got.

- Just not fair! - Wow.


Which shows you just what you can do
with a professional make-up team,

a photographer,
and a begging letter on Twitter.

It's amazing what you can achieve.

I don't post much on social media.
I just post what people want.

- No-one wants that, Fred.
- Only 24,500 people, Paddy!

That's fair enough
but they're all in prison.

Right, so, Fred's in the lead

but I'm pulling out the big guns
with the Lambo.

Have a look at my picture.

Oh, aye!

- Chris, what are you doing?
- I'm twerking.


Let me get this straight, Paddy,
you thought the best way to get

likes on social media was posting
a picture of Chris squatting?

- That's terrible. - In hindsight,
I think you're right there.

I think it's a good image.
I like it.

Right, well, I'm pinning
me hopes on you, Chris.

Let's have a look how many
likes you got.

Oh, dear God.

Oh, dear God in heaven. 5,603.

It's more than I thought.

The curse of Harris strikes again.
That's all for tonight's show.

Next week, we head to
Yorkshire in sports cars

and Chris tests a record-breaking
electric racer.

See you, then. Good night.