Top Gear's top eight high-speed saves

How these drivers avoided having massive accidents, we'll never know


1. Jason Plato - Brands Hatch BTCC

All’s fair in love and touring cars, including giving stalwart racer and television presenting enthusiast Jason Plato a tap into Brands Hatch’s Paddock Hill Bend. JP caught the moment by nailing the gas. A Chevy Lacetti has rarely looked cooler.

2. Mark Higgins - Isle of Man TT

Thirty-six seconds after leaving the paddock on his attempt to break the Isle of Man’s TT car lap record, Mark Higgins is wrestling a 150mph tank-slapper. From lock to lock, he gets it back, grinning and labelling it “the biggest moment of my life…”

3. Max Verstappen - 2016 Brazilian GP

Dutch wunderkind Max Verstappen has built quite the reputation for daring overtakes twinned with youthful shrugging. Catching his broadside RBR12 from a 90° slide on Interlagos’s sopping wet pit “straight” was a season highlight.

4. Yannick Dalmas - 2016 Le Mans 24hrs

Yannick Dalmas, the four-time Le Mans winner, still insists his monster drift in the Audi R8 V10 Plus safety car was deliberate, to “check how much grip there was off line” as rain hammered La Sarthe. Either way, the finest piece of pace-car driving ever.

5. Dino Zamperilli - Spa Francorchamps

Racing at Spa is brave. Racing there in the wet is heroic. Being 19, and spotting a stricken car in the spray at almost zero visibility is superhuman. Zamparelli races past the obstacle, missing by inches, and catches the rear as it skates onto the grass. Class.

6. Ari Vatanen - 1983 Manx Rally

Redefine your understanding of the phrase “maximum attack” by enjoying this clip of Vatanen thrashing an Opel Manta across the Manx. Best bit? He’s so broadside through a farm gate his co-driver exclaims: “Dear God!”

7. Doug Kalitta - Kansas Nationals

Somehow, this clip makes drag racing into art. A beautiful, slow-mo dance. Watch Doug Kalitta’s tank-slapper in a 300mph Top Fuel dragster ten times and you’ll still not understand how he saved the car, let alone hold on the win the race overall.

8. MG B - 2016 Members' Meeting

Most of the cars at the Goodwood Members Meeting are permanently sideways. Crossply tyres, no driver aids and a who’s-who of handy drivers has obvious consequences. Props to Chris Ryan for rescuing this overtake gone wrong.

Author: TopGear
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