The Grand Tour Has a New Driver!


By Staff

But There's Something Quite Different


Recently the Grand Tour introduced a new drive for their “Ebola Drome” racetrack, used for testing performance cars for the show.  The move was in effort to replace the previous out-spoken American, Mike Skinner whom presumably audiences were not in favor of.


Needless to say their new driver is subtlety fast, quiet -- and a female.  That’s right.  For the first time, the boys on set brought in female driver Abbie Eaton to put down their fastest lap times.


But before we stand up with a wave of applause, we have a few things to address. First is the fact there is an inconsistency of the new show, and the producers may just be dealing with a logistics issue, but so far out of four episodes at this time, Abbie has only been featured in one.


Next, is the fact that her name was not mentioned -- or at least a stage name given.  When presented, Clarkson stated a need to replace their driver with the fastest and Abbie’s introduction was reduced to; “Here she is.”


Even after whipping the “Viper-Green” Mercedes-AMG GT R with stellar control, and an incredibly fast lap time of 1:18:7, both Hammond and Clarkson left with these comments:


Richard Hammond: “ . . . She’s an incredible driver.”


Clarkson: “Yes, she’s a phenomenal driver, absolutely phenomenal. We are delighted to have her on board. But now it is time to move on.”


Wow -- and yes, she actually is in fact, a fast driver.  That’s because Mrs. Eaton is a 25-year old professional racer from England, who’s raced in the SAXMAX Championship, was the Class B Champion, and a Mazda MX-5 SuperCup champion.  She’s also raced in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the first woman to finish in her class.


Despite her credentials, the only speculation to down play her role is that the producers needed to refrain from making her into a character of the show, as they did with the former driver Skinner.  But this can still be done while still at least introducing her properly.  All and all, seeing a female test driver is a great thing for the series, it’s too bad her introduction was not played out very well.






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