Richard Hammond’s Crash Course – Richard Hammond, host of the world’s biggest car show Top Gear, takes the ultimate driving test. As he travels across the US, Hammond is challenged to learn how to operate America’s largest and most dangerous vehicles. Immersed in some of the country’s most extreme environments, he has only days to master these monstrous machines, a task that takes years for most people to achieve. Throughout his journey, Hammond works alongside local experts who operate these machines daily, while getting a true taste of American hospitality.
As Top Gear enters season 18, Richard Hammond has experienced more than his fair share of international auto-escapades, whizzed along countless race tracks, driven just about every high-powered car and sat pretty in some of the most luxurious vehicles ever made. Now in Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, he experiences the world’s biggest and toughest vehicles that are made not for show, but to get a job done. Visiting six locations, with just three days in each, he must learn how to handle a variety of complex and dangerous machines. In the end, the experts decide if he has successfully completed each challenge.
The series has Hammond at the helm of a myriad of machines including the US Army’s MIA2 Abrams Tank at Fort Bliss, ‘The Compactor’ (which weighs more than the last 11 Super Bowl championship teams combined) at the Denver Regional Landfill, the world’s most powerful fire engine, The Striker, at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and a two ton wrecking ball with the power to tear down a five story building in a matter of seconds in Orlando. Hammond, usually the expert in the driver’s seat, finds himself in unusual territory. Not only is he in a foreign land, he is now the student, getting his hands dirty and learning all aspects of the job from the men and women who operate these essential machines.
From completing fitness training with a US Army “Top Tank” crew to shimmying up a tree, despite his fear of heights, while working with the Luoto family for their Oregon logging company – there is no cutting corners on the work sites. Hammond does find time, however, to make some machine-powered high-jinx of mammoth proportions. For instance, while tree harvesting, Richard fashions his own game of darts using the monster-sized Dangle Head Processor to catapult 5,000 lb log-darts into a bullseye on the side of one of his least favorite vehicles – the mini-van.
Channel: BBC America
Producer: BBC Worldwide Productions
TX: 16th April 2012
Source: BBC American press release