In retrospect, this video represents a strange, yet predictive, confluence of people, events and cars. Just days before he was announced as Jeremy Clarkson’s replacement on Top Gear, Chris Evans was able to help orchestrate and film a LaFerrari hot lap around the Dunsfold Aerodrome test track, which also happens to be the test track used by his new employer. Defending Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton was there too for some reason.
It all unfolded on Evans’ television show, TFI Friday, when a helmeted racing driver call ‘The Stink’ showed up in the studio. ‘The Stink’ turned out to be British touring car ace, Jason Plato, who was behind the wheel of the Ferrari for the hot lap. You might remember that Ferrari wouldn’t allow Top Gear to time the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari’s hot lap against the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder and 2014 McLaren P1, so this is the first time it’s been put to the clock.
Plato only had about 15 minutes to set a lap time and surface was slightly damp, but the goal was to break the track record of 1 minute 13.8 seconds held by the 2011 Pagani Huayra. Watch the video to see if he pulled it off.
(Spoiler alert: He was 0.4 second off.)
Also, if you’re not familiar with Evans’ body of work, the video might give you an idea of what to expect from future episodes of Top Gear. Get used to this guy, because he’s probably here to stay.