We won’t lie, Abbie Eaton was one of the best things to happen on The Grand Tour, and it was a brilliant idea to get her on the show to replace the not-so-liked American. By taking this male-dominated role and showing that she had the skills and talent to put down great lap times while also being entertaining, she has hopefully inspired other women to do the same and to push into the industry of motor racing. But when she first started in the role, she was worried about what reaction she was going to get from viewers.
Talking on the Sung’s Garage Podcast presented by Sung Kang and myself, she admitted that she was worried about the potential negativity she would receive, despite the role giving her more opportunities in the racing industry.
“When I ended up doing The Grand Tour, I think it was the end of 2017 was when we first did the filming, and 2017 I didn’t actually race anything,” she tells us.
2016 saw her race in the British GT, but with her income from sponsorships now depleted, she wasn’t able to race the following year. The Grand Tour quickly got in touch with her, however, to audition.
“I was offered the job and obviously it’s lifted my profile quite a lot, it’s given me a new audience to show what I can do, too.
“It’s offered opportunities since then, I’ve had a few guest drives in European Rally Cross, had a guest drive in the Jaguar i-Pace as well that supports Formula-E, and I think all the other bits and bobs that I’ve had along the way and the opportunities.
“I think I’ve secured a few more sponsors on the back of it as well which is obviously a massively important thing in motorsport.
“It’s definitely not been a negative thing.”
She admitted however, that she was nervous about being seen in a role that was predominantly taken by men such as The Stig.
“For myself and being put in this role that’s predominantly been a male role taken by The Stig, it’s one of those things where I was expecting quite a lot of negativity.
“Fifty-fifty let’s say, positive to negative, but actually it was 98% positive.
“There were so many positive comments from people and the 2 or 3% of negative stuff was from people who didn’t have anything to say, so they were like, ‘she’s slow!’, that kind of stuff.”
She ends by saying the reaction from the viewers of the Amazon Prime Video show was “overwhelming”.
We love Abbie Eaton here at Grand Tour Nation, and we’re really enjoying her latest project on Carfection, called Track Mode.