On Twitter, James May has reacted to Chris Harris’ Alpine A110 catching fire while filming for Top Gear. The Grand Tour host said he will not lend his car to Chris anytime soon, as the latter stood next to the scorched vehicle looking at it with disappointment.
In 2017, a Top Gear incident occurred in which a feature being filmed by Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan ended major disrupt. Harris and Jordan were fortunately unharmed when the Alpine A110 they were testing for a review piece on the popular BBC show set on fire.
After someone had sent him this image from the final episode of Top Gear’s 25th series, the experienced motoring journalist remembered the scary moments on Twitter.
Someone sent me this today. That day very nearly didn’t end well. Gulp. pic.twitter.com/uAaEuUeHg3
— chris harris (@harrismonkey) October 13, 2021
He typed: “Someone sent me this today. That day very nearly didn’t end well. Gulp.”
James May, the owner of one of these very special sports cars responded, joking: “I’m putting this on the wall, to remind me not to lend him mine.”
Fans flocked to the post to add to the humour, with one adding the following:
“Richard Hammond has some competition I see.”
Another questioned: “@MrJamesMayThe new @RichardHammond?”
One fan couldn’t help but bring The Grand Tour team into it: “I wouldn’t recommend you lending a car to either Harris or Hammond. Or Clarkson. Jezza will ruin it with his ‘POWER AND SPEED’, Hammond will have it on its roof and Harris… Well, that picture says a lot.”
I’m putting this on the wall, to remind me not to lend him mine. https://t.co/fW9wCDxBNj
— James May (@MrJamesMay) October 14, 2021
Chris, who currently writes for Top Gear Magazine, wrote this at the time: “The point of this bit of the film was to get Eddie to be a bit annoying. He was doing that superbly well and we were crying with laughter. We got to the bottom of the rally stage and the director told us to go back up again, get close behind the tracking car and see what we could do.
What became apparent was that the car has just the right amount of torque in second and first gear to do little slides coming out of the hairpins. I was beginning to really enjoy it, but I didn’t want to be a tit. There was nothing to be gained from me pushing it ten tenths.
“This went on for a few minutes, then I came around a right-hander and as I crested quite a long section of road the power just cut a bit. I looked down and the dashboard said, ‘Electrical failure, danger’. I’ve never seen a message like it, but I thought, ‘That’s nothing – it’s just overreacting’.
“So I looked up at the next bend, looked down again and the whole dashboard had gone… and the engine cut completely. We stopped and I said to Eddie, ‘Oh, that’s not good’. Then I looked in the mirror and saw smoke and said, ‘We’re on fire – get out.'”
After the car had been torn apart – or rather, what was left of it – they realised that the car had gone up because of a small fuel leak.
“We now know there was a fuel leak under the car, probably between Eddie’s left buttock and my right buttock. When I opened the door, the wind was blowing across the car and the fuel ignited and blew the flames in my door,” Chris continues
“There was a load of fuel that had been dumped on the ground, which is where the flames were coming from at that stage, not the car. Luckily I was wearing overalls, but I didn’t have any gloves – all it did was singe the hairs on my hand.
“What was really frustrating was that we had to just sit there and watch it burn. It began as an entire car with a bit of flame on it, but ended up as molten metal. That probably took five or six minutes. Once fire takes hold it’s very quick, and there’s lots of bangs and pops and fizzes when it goes off.
“I was sad to see an entire vehicle disappear. I didn’t like that at all. I felt no sense of anger towards Alpine because it was a development car and these things happen; I was just glad that we got out fine,” Chris ended.