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The Grand Tour Introduces New Test Driver But Doesn’t Say Her Name

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Abbie Eaton

The second episode of The Grand Tour’s second season answered two of the questions we had after the first episode: Is there a new test driver? Is the Eboladrome test track still going to be featured?

The answer to both is “yes”—but you might have been surprised at how little fanfare there was around the new driver introduction. This was Clarkson’s lead-in after announcing that the American was let go: “…But the point is, we needed a replacement. We needed a new driver. We spent the last nine months auditioning everyone we could think of—former F1 drivers, rally drivers, stunt drivers, test drivers—until we ended up with the fastest. And here she is.”

The show then cut to the driver taking the Mercedes AMG GT R around the track but her name was not revealed at any time before the end credits, about half an hour later: Abbie Eaton, a successful GT racing driver from Yorkshire who also works as a performance driving instructor.

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According to Jalopnik, an Amazon spokesperson said the public reaction to Mike “The American” Skinner had been so overwhelmingly negative that the producers decided to downplay the role of the driver—and because of legal reasons related to Top Gear, they couldn’t make her anonymous.

This makes some sense, as The American character, rather than Skinner, was what everyone had hated. So instead of giving Eaton a character, The Grand Tour is just giving her fast cars to drive as quickly as she can around their track—though who knows, we might get more later.

Still, expect some people to think she wasn’t given more attention just because she’s a woman.

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News Source: Jalopnik