Top Gear Thursday: Jay Leno Takes a Spin on the ‘Top Gear’ Track

Jay Leno behind the wheel. (Jay Leno's Garage)

Jay Leno behind the wheel. (Jay Leno’s Garage)

Everyone knows Jay Leno is crazy about cars. He owns roughly 200 of them, as you can see on his website Jay Leno’s Garage.

So the talk show host was thrilled to be invited to be the very first person, outside of the McLaren company, to drive its new supercar, the P1.

And where did test drive it?

On the Top Gear race track at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

“Last time I was at Dunsfold,” said Leno, “I did Top Gear. I did the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. And this time it’s not much of a star, and it’s a really expensive car.”

He’s sure to have driven a good deal faster in the McLaren than in a Chevrolet Lacetti. Here he is, on Top Gear in 2009 — we won’t tell you what he clocked in at (you can watch the video below for that) but we will tell you, just for the record, the late night comedian clocked tied David Tennant.

• Another celebrity took to another famous track this week: James May did a full lap on the famed Isle of Man TT race course where he drove an electric motorcycle with a sidecar, manned by his fellow TV host Oz Clarke.

“It is a great honor to have done it,” May told BBC News.

The two men were filming a BBC2 show called Toy Stories. The motorcycle and sidecar were made entirely out of children’s toy parts.

“We reached 25mph coming down the mountain,” commented the Top Gear host. He certainly earned his nickname of Captain Slow, a fact that was pointed out by one of his observers in the following video:

And here’s another stretch caught on video:

James had actually visited the course in preparation for the Toy Stories segment during the actual TT (which stands for Tourist Trophy) race earlier this summer, and he spoke about it to motorcyclenewsdotcom:

James may have taken the TT course slow, but that’s not how most of the contestants do it. Here are some “action cam” shots of this year’s race from Sony:

• Another example of toys, or games, inspiring real life: a car customizer has just built a real car based on a video game auto. It’s not just any old car from any old video game, however – it’s the Bravado Banshee from Grand Theft Auto. It’s a single custom model designed by West Coast Customs, and TopGear.com has a photo gallery.

The Bravado Banshee - from video game to reality. (TopGear.com)

The Bravado Banshee – from video game to reality. (TopGear.com)

• The American version of Top Gear began its fourth season on the History channel this week, with an episode in which hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood took a 3000-mile road trip across the U.S. in supercars. In this videoclip, however, the three American hosts drive not supercars but rebuilt replicas of their favorite Hollywood cars:

• And finally a video clip that came to our attention via TopGear.com, and it is in every way completely amazing. It’s footage of a car being engulfed by a landslide in the pouring rain in Taiwan, all captured on tape by the dashboard cam of a car traveling behind the car caught in the mudslide. You’ll see just what’s so amazing when you look at the clip – and it’s no little amazement that this was all recorded as it happened.

Also amazing: no  one was injured.