So it turns out that Richard Hammond never really knew how to drift. Who knew? Ever since Top Gear relaunched in 2002, the show has been chock full of sequences with the three boys going sideways in all different manners.
Who would have thought that Richard’s shots were all just editing trickery? Regardless, good on him for admitting to it and then taking the time to learn how to do it correctly. Once upon a time I thought I could easily drift, so I went out with my Mustang into an empty lot and went at it. Not so easy.
He didn't even flinch. pic.twitter.com/8nGUhnZocC
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) February 5, 2017
Drifting involves intentionally over-steering so you lose traction in your back wheels, then immediately counter-steering to hold the car at an angle while it maintains its forward momentum. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon screwing around with this, and while I did end up doing some decent drifts, I mostly just spun out a lot and performed some donuts.
We saw Richard’s attempt to learn in the final episode of The Grand Tour, where he travelled to Michelin’s proving grounds in Ladoux, France and spend the day learning how to drift under the tutelage of Jerome Haslin, Michelin’s chief tire tester for BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, and Bugatti. We got to see him drift an entire lap in a circle, and also perform some drift linking, which doesn’t look like it’s an easy task. The sequence from the show was all fine and good, but we now have some additional footage to show you.
In the clip below, you can check out 360-degree video of Richard during his lesson. If you have a VR headset, pop that on and enjoy the full immersion. You can even swivel around and watch Richard himself behind the wheel:
Not too bad at all, assuming he only had the one day to learn! As an added bonus (since we’re on the subject of learning something new and screwing up and all that), here are some bloopers from Season One!