Top Gear's the Stig

America's very own version of Top Gear is set to hit airwaves for its second season. A new round of hijinks on the History Channel begins July 24. Seeing as the Top Gear Test Track sits just 15 minutes from your author's house, we thought it might be nice to pop in and pay the guys a visit. We wound up getting more than we bargained for, however, because The Stig was also on set... armed with the keys to a Lotus Evora S.

"Shotgun!"

The hosts could wait, because we had a date with a man/woman/robot known as The Stig. The Top Gear Test Track was clear, our butts were belted into the passenger seat and a solitary thumbs up from the man in white was our clue that this was go time.

Keep reading to learn more about our lap, and the upcoming season of Top Gear.


The Top Gear Test Track is located on the grounds of the now-defunct El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Irvine, California. Nearly 20 bends separated us from making a round-trip run back to the Start/Finish line. It would be a quick trip, but an amazing one nonetheless.

What's it like riding side-saddle to The Stig? In a word, HOLYCRAPTHESTIGISAMAZING. (Does that count as one word if we don't use spaces?). Still, let's take a moment to distill that wonderful word we just cobbled together. On our journey together, the Stig pushed the Lotus Evora S as hard as he could. Steady hands worked to provoke a dab of oppo when required, and quick feet worked all three pedals like a kung-fu master forced to defend his temple. It was fast, furious and... a type of awesome that can't be described in front of the kids.

The being beneath the white suit and helmet is an expert at making a car go fast without hitting things. That's a fact we appreciated even more as our eyes fought physics to glance at the speedo. The needle crept toward 120 miles per hour in the fastest section, which wasn't a straight mind you.

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Want to join us on our lap? Check out the video below. We will warn you ahead of time, however, that the power of the Stig overcame the power of our GoPro mount on the back straight. Your view will switch from track to sky about 3/4 of the way around the track. Sorry 'bout that.


Our time with the Stig was memorable and our hands had finally stopped shaking from adrenaline. Now, it was time to tour the set. We can't tell you too much about what we saw, but we're going to go ahead and call it now: Season two of Top Gear USA should be a blast to watch based simply on the varied machines we saw scattered around the production area. We would love to go into more detail, but we hear Stiggy is also an accomplished marksman.

We did get a moment to sit down with the hosts, and, after a nod from an executive producer, they were allowed to impart a few nuggets of insight into what we can expect in the second season of Top Gear. The very first thing they discussed was how easy it was to get into the flow of filming compared to the first season. Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood and Adam Ferrara all got their sea legs right away. That confidence, along with the chemistry exhibited right in front of our face lead us to believe that this trio is ready to hit the ground running for their second go-around.



When they weren't cracking inside jokes related to the events of this upcoming season (or each other), they handed out a bit more insight into Season Two. Some highlights:

  • Tanner Foust races a Porsche 911 GT2 RS against a jet-powered shopping cart. At night. Through the streets of Los Angeles.
  • All three hosts have to find their way through Death Valley... without using pavement.
  • Adam Ferrara finally gets to jump a vehicle that can withstand the force of returning to the Earth (something he relayed with a large smile splayed on his face).
  • Rutledge Wood stumbles across a desert store that's home to Charles Manson's old Dodge PowerWagon.

That's only a taste of what's in store for Top Gear Season 2, which premiers July 24 on the History Channel. We can't tell you any more than that, unfortunately. We can say that Tanner, Adam and Rutledge are excited for the new season, and we're excited to see what they did with the random vehicles scattered about the grounds of their slice of El Toro.

We're also still recovering from two laps with The Stig.