'Top Gear' (USA) Recap: Airport Mayhem In 'Big, Bad Trucks'
Following their evaluation of American supercars, Team Top Gear moves on to trucks. Adam, Tanner and Rutledge are testing a trio of luxury pickups by (say it with us) putting them through a series of challenges.
Their designated meeting point is in the San Gabriel Mountains. Rutledge has chosen a brand-new Toyota Tundra, Tanner goes for the Ford F-150, and Adam brings a Dodge Ram - pretty much the cross-section of trucks you'd expect. Shocking no one, they want to race these behemoths right from the start. A five-mile sprint from their starting location to the road five miles away ends with Rutledge victorious, a disappointed Tanner, and...where's Adam?
Rutledge: I didn't see him, and I didn't see anything on fire.
Following Top Gear custom, Tanner and Rut leave their missing colleague behind, and head to the City of Industry for their first official challenge, which takes place at the Malibu SpeedZone. If you've ever been to the SpeedZone, this is the kind of place that can realign your spine. Just as they're debating the merits of driving a truck on the go-kart track, Adam walks over completely unruffled despite the fact that his arm is in a sling. Most people might be in some pain, or at least mildly annoyed, but not Adam, who calmly informs them that he encountered "a slight cliff." And that's all the explanation you're gonna get, folks.
The task at hand is to see who can set the fastest lap of the go-kart track. Rutledge demonstrates right off the bat that manuevering a big vehicle on a small track is both difficult and comical. His lap time is 57 seconds. Tanner - who might possibly have jumped the start - learns that his driving style is at odds with the F-150's computer. Even with a few obvious "shortcuts," he clocks 54 seconds. Adam enlists The Stig to complete his lap, leading the other two guys to suspect that he's faking his injury. But since the penalization of cheating seems to be entirely arbitrary on this show, why not? Stig's time is 53.9 seconds, making Adam the winner, if not because of that, then because he now has his own chauffeur.
Adam: As I speak to you, my butt is the perfect temperature.
In Long Beach, off Ocean Boulevard - and right in the vicinity of the Grand Prix of Long Beach track, where Rutledge smoked everyone in this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race - the guys have to compete in a parking challenge, dashing from space to space. That's not even the worst part. The worst part is that there will be three unsuspecting "typical families" who have to ride along with them. Tanner's face pretty much says it all.