'Top Gear' Presenters Escape Blazing Car Fire At Monte Carlo Rally
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As former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and especially Richard Hammond found out several times, presenting BBC motoring show Top Gear is a dangerous job, particularly when they do stunts like this:
Now the show's new presenters can truly consider themselves part of the disaster club after the sports car they were driving set alight while the series was filming in Monte Carlo.
Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan were forced to quickly escape the £50,000 ($70,000) Renault Alpine A110 they were testing before it soon became a smouldering wreck. Luckily they escaped unharmed.
Chris was driving the pre-production sports car on a closed section of the Monte Carlo Rally's SS17 stage when the car's engine management light suddenly turned on.
The pair were forced to stop and jump out of the car sharpish after crew members spotted flames at the bottom of the vehicle. Despite the crew's attempts to put out the fire, the Alpine was left completely totalled before the local fire brigade could turn up.
Prior to it catching fire the Alpine had actually been performing well, making it even more of a shame that the Top Gear lot somehow managed to ruin it.
"I first realised I needed to get out when I opened the door and the flames went up my arm," Chris said as he commented on the incident. "Sadly the car was lost and it always makes me sad to see a beautiful car destroyed."
"Doing a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally was a dream come true for me," Eddie added. "The car was stunning - so light on its toes. It was dancing around the mountain and Chris was driving it beautifully.
"It's such a shame we didn't finish the test, but these things happen."
Thankfully the incident didn't stop the show rolling, as the crew continued filming the rally with the four remaining rally cars Chris had been competing against.
A spokesperson for Alpine confirmed that 'a technical incident' occurred with the Alpine A110 during a Top Gear filming session. However, the reason the car caught on fire has not yet been identified.
"Alpine and Groupe Renault are investigating the causes of this incident," the Alpine spokesman said. "As a pre-emptive measure, we have temporarily frozen all driving activities for pre-production cars.
"We expect to resume once a thorough diagnosis is complete and all precautionary steps are taken."
Has anyone made a comprehensive list of all the cars Top Gear has totalled over the years? The death toll must be quite steep by now.