Challenges How hard could it be? Top Gear Series 10

Top Gear: Series 10, Episode 9

  • Team Top Gear enters the Britcar 24 Hour Endurance Race.
  • James tests the Fiat 500 against BMX riders through Budapest.
  • Jeremy power tests the Ascari A10 against the Daihatsu Materia.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Keith Allen.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Main Review: As Clarkson has been told by the producers that he is not allowed to test any more supercars for the rest of the series, he decides to review the Daihatsu Materia hatchback alongside a “close” rival – the new Ascari A10. He says the Daihatsu is far more practical and economical, but it is too boring around the corners and is nowhere near as fast as the Ascari. Clarkson then announces that he prefers the A10 and its engine tone. The Ascari goes round the track faster than the Koenigsegg CCX with a time of 1:17.3, taking it to the top of the Power Lap board.

News: There is no news in this episode due to “lack of time”.

Review: May travels to Hungary to test drive the new Fiat 500. He races some youths on BMX bikes through the streets of Budapest and is just pipped at the finish.

Star in a Reasonably Priced car: Keith Allen gets a time of 1:51.7 on what the Stig said was the wettest day on record.

Challenge: In the previous series, the presenters planted their own bio-fuel crop, which was rapeseed. Having harvested the crops they accidentally made 500 gallons worth of bio-diesel, because May had bought the wrong seed. In order to dispose of it they take part in the Britcar 24 hour endurance race at Silverstone Circuit using a modified BMW 330d. Arriving at the event, the team discover that it is not an event for novices as they had expected, but rather a fully professional endurance race and that the team would be competing alongside actual 200 mph (320 km/h) supercars.

For qualifying, each team member had to do three laps each. Hammond is very unfamiliar with the track, and May forgets to do his flying lap. The team reveal their secret weapon: The Stig. After his three laps the team are stunned to find that they are not bottom of the table.

They then must do three laps at night. Hammond, Clarkson and The Stig all complete their 3-lap stints. However, disaster strikes when May is completing his. The turbo, clutch and flywheel break down and the fuel pump splits, thanks to the large amounts of methanol in the bio-diesel that had “eaten” away the seals. The team qualify in 42nd place, out of 59. The mechanics work through the night, doing the fastest repair job ever, but the team still misses the race start, and has to start from pitlane. The car comes to life minutes before the completion of the parade lap with The Stig behind the wheel.

The car starts the race in last place but the Stig climbs 20 places in the board into 39th. The car breaks down again, taking 30 minutes to repair. May takes it out next. After being tired out only halfway (90 minutes) into his stint and nearly wrecking the BMW, May is brought in and is switched for Clarkson. Clarkson completes his 3-hour stint and Hammond is next. He collides with a Mosler race car, sending him spinning off and forcing him to be towed back into pitlane to have the car repaired. This takes three hours, putting the team in last place. During the race, the fog becomes very thick and the race is immediately halted. Clarkson got the crowd to do a Mexican wave. The Stig makes up for lost ground, putting them back in the race, and despite their exhaustion, the others then take their turns. During Clarkson’s final stint, the front tyres start to wear rapidly so the car is brought back to the pits for new tyres. The car finished the race 39th overall and 3rd in their class.

Some say…

“Some say that he once lost a canoe on a beach in the north east, and that he once did some time in a prison in Canterbury because his teddy is called “The baby Jesus”. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Ascari A10

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Keith Allen
1:51.70 (very wet)


Rating: 9.6/10. From 78 votes.
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