While filming in Norway earlier this year, The Grand Tour’s James May wrecked a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII and was taken to the hospital. He suffered a broken rib but returned to filming the next day.
The crash may be seen on YouTube since the special, A Scandi Flick, debuted last Friday. It’s a huge one, as Jeremy Clarkson commented afterwards.
Clarkson, May, and Richard Hammond drove across Norway, Sweden, and Finland in three all-wheel-drive sedans, with Clarkson driving an Audi RS4 and Hammond driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Clarkson wants to show his car is the fastest after Hammond and May mock him for not bringing a proper rally-bred car. They stumble across a small tunnel road in Norway and decide to race to determine who can be the fastest. As they move through, the tunnel glows green, with red lights at the end where there is a wall.
May stops too late and tries to spin the Evo to avoid colliding with the wall, but he’s carrying far too much speed. A video of his speedometer shows him reaching 78 mph before slamming on the brakes. As a result, almost the whole right side of the car collides with the wall, and May is flung around in his seat, with various items flying throughout the cabin, as seen in the video.
May, fortunately, climbs out of the automobile on his own, and a medical team examines him before sending him to the hospital. After being released, May is shown at a workshop repairing the Evo, and despite suffering considerable damage, the car is rendered roadworthy for the rest of the trip.
In light of the recent event, the entire thing appears to be quite dangerous. Yes, there was a medical staff on hand in case of an accident, but this was a high-speed run with no room for error.
Moreover, the automobiles also had studded tyres, which don’t operate well on dry pavement, but more importantly, there was no safety equipment in use. May’s risk of injury would have been greatly reduced if the car had been fitted with a cage, a racing seat, and five-point harnesses, and he had been wearing a helmet and a HANS device. The fact that there was unsecured cargo added to the risk; anything may strike him at high speed.
The video serves as a useful “what not to do” lesson for anybody interested in excessive speeding because that is precisely the type of behaviour that will get you into trouble.