Another Top Gear foul-up

Motoring programmes on UK TV are generally pretty dismal affairs nowadays. While they used to be amongst the best, and actually reported on current motoring affairs (and still do – for a few minutes!), they're now largely 'vehicles' for the grossly over-rated egos of the presenters to promote themselves, and have great fun playing with cars they don't have to buy or run.

In the past, they listened to a bit of criticism, now they just mention it to knock it in some way – "One of our viewers emailed us to complain about the number of expensive cars we drive every week (heh-heh)… Well, just for him, we're going to test a 3-cylinder shopping cart from Korea (ho-ho-ho), and see if it can round our test track in less than week (chuckle)"

After this, they'll go on to skid around an airfield in a 600 bhp supercar for a while, producing copious smoke from the tyres and extolling the virtues of 0-60 mph in around 4 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, that would be about 200 mph with the limiter off. This in a country with speed limits between 30 and 70 mph (and now with 20 mph in some places) where the police don't even have to get up out of bed to catch speeders any more – the roads are dotted with cameras that automatically hand out millions of speeding fines annually now, with some being set to issue those fines for an excess of 2-3 mph above this limit. That's less than the legal accuracy speedometers have to work to!

Then we get to hear about one of the presenter's shiny new Ford GT – 100 grand's worth of scrap that's broken every time he's tried to drive it somewhere since he bought it last year. This being a replacement for his former Mercedes SL, which replaced his former Ferrari.

Now they've ruined a spot that provided about 3 minutes of interest, "A Star in a Reasonably Priced Car". They give a celebrity 10 -15 minutes free TV airtime to promote themselves, in return for taking a 'cheap' (£10 k) car around their test track, to see which star is fastest. Fair enough. Ignoring the 10 minutes wasted in the star's interview, the 2 minutes of the lap and the final time were interesting to see. Now they've wasted that too!

Instead of letting the star have a practice session, and then a timed session to produce their best lap time, which tells us how good they are, they made it a one-shot trial. Now, they get a practice session, and ONE timed lap. One lap only and that's their time, even if they spin off or have some other mishap and take a week, that's their lap time.

I don't know what that tells us about an untrained driver's performance on track, but it tells us sod all about how fast they can get that car around the track.

I think the only good part of one of the recent programmes was when the presenter admitted he was truly miserable. Why? He'd driven and reviewed the Bugati Veyron on a trip across Europe, was completely in love with it, and knew he would never be able to buy one, or probably even get to drive one again.  AAAAAwwwwwwww, shame (heh-heh).


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