Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan Escape Burning Car Unharmed

The Top Gear presenters escaped their Alpine A110 when it caught fire while filming a segment for the show.

Harold Cunningham, Getty Images News

Richard Hammond isn't the only automotive TV show presenter to have issues with cars catching fire. Unlike Hammond, Top Gear's Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan are fortunately no worse for wear after escaping the Alpine A110 they were driving when the camera crew noticed the car had caught fire, reports The Daily Mail.

Harris and Jordan were filming a Top Gear segment on the route of Special Stage 17 of the Monte Carlo Rally when the incident occurred. An engine management light had lit up on the pre-production Alpine's dashboard, followed shortly by the fire warning from their crew. "I first realized I needed to get out when I opened the door and the flames went up my arm," Harris told The Daily Mail. Fortunately, the two were dressed in fire-resistant racing suits, which bought them the few seconds they needed to escape the car without injury. 

Four minutes later, the car was engulfed in flames. While emergency equipment would have been ready to arrive on the scene within minutes during the Monte Carlo Rally, it took an hour for them to get there, by which time the car had burned to the ground.

"Sadly the car was lost and it always makes me sad to see a beautiful car destroyed," Harris continued. Eddie Jordan agreed. "Doing a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally was a dream come true for me. The car was stunning, so light on its toes. It was dancing around the mountain and Chris was driving it beautifully. It’s such a shame we didn’t finish the test, but these things happen." 

Neither Jordan nor Harris are strangers to racing. Jordan is a former Formula 1 team owner, while Harris has raced in multiple disciplines of motorsport, including stage rally. They knew the risks involved and took reasonable precautions against them. Those precautions paid off in this case.

An Alpine spokesman told The Daily Mail, "Alpine and Groupe Renault are investigating the causes of this incident. As a pre-emptive measure, we have temporarily frozen all driving activities for pre-production cars. We expect to resume once a thorough diagnosis is complete and all precautionary steps are taken."

All of us at The Drive are relieved to know that Harris and Jordan are okay, and we wish them well.