Richard Hammond’s Race Day Ended in James May’s 1947 Ambulance (He’s Fine)

After having a slight mechanical failure in a Formula Easter race, Richard Hammond had a minor crash that ended in a comical ambulance ride.

byChris Rosales|
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The Grand Tour
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Richard Hammond is known to crash, and crash big. It’s one of the running gags of his on-screen persona since his first huge 288mph crash in 2006 that has lasted through his colossal Rimac crash, and finally this incident that happened during a Formula Easter race shot for a segment of the latest The Grand Tour episode. Before anything–yes, he is fine. Of all his crashes, this is one of the most lighthearted and funny, in fact.

In an excerpt from the latest episode of GT uploaded to YouTube, the segment begins with Hammond lining up on a small grid of Formula Easter cars. The gag here is that Formula Easter was created during the ‘70s for drivers from the east side of the Berlin Wall, and manufactured from parts of a similar origin. The FIA never sanctioned the series, but acknowledged its existence. The cars are powered by Soviet-made Lada 1.3-liter inline-four engines, four-speed manual gearbox, and used a combination of suspension parts from East German vans and trucks.

Hammond has a great start in the race and works his way up to the lead before a bolt and washer flashes across the screen. Immediately following the loss of the bolt, a cloud of steam and fluid trails from his racecar, leaving a slippery trail in Hammond’s wake. Behind him, his competitors are spinning from what seems to be coolant while he continues onward, coating the whole track in the fluid until he himself reaches his snail trail. That’s when he loses the rudimentary race car, yells “bollocks!” and the screen cuts to his two co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May hearing the news that he crashed. Upon that news, May springs into action and runs to Hammond’s aid. In his 1947 Crosley CC Convertible ambulance.

The ambulance is slow. And with a funny little siren, it’s hilarious how slow it is. Hammond reportedly hurt his leg, though that might’ve been part of the gag. Either way, he waited an age for May to retrieve him. 

Overall, it’s a good bit. It’s a good laugh, and I think this latest GT special might be a pretty decent one. It aired yesterday, but if it’s any good, I’ll report back.

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