James May Talks About His 75 MPH Crash That Left Him Hospitalized, Jokes About Insurance

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In mid-August, news broke out that one of The Grand Tour hosts, James May, was involved in a serious crash during production. Now, he's finally opening up to it and can even joke about who costs the most money for the show's insurance.
During filming for an episode of The Grand Tour in Norway, James May drove into a wall at high speed after braking too late. When he hit the wall, he was driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 and had a speed of 75 mph (121 kph). He needed a brain scan right after he hit his head quite hard in the impact.

His co-star, Richard Hammond, joked how since James May joined the series, he felt like he was "impersonating" him: “When he joined Top Gear, I was always wearing really vibrant loud shirts. And then James joined and did the same and I thought, ‘Well, we can’t both do that.’ So, I stopped. I just wore ordinary shirts. And then he’s recently grown a little goatee."

Hammond continued, “And now he’s taken the only thing I had left, which was crashing. It’s very flattering that he would consider that level of impersonation, but I’ll let him have that."

Speaking for the first time since the crash, James told The Sun: “I think the main contributor to the high cost of insuring us is Hammond. Say the insurance premium was £100 ($116), for argument’s sake — it would be £5 ($6) for me, £6 ($7) for Jeremy, and £89 ($103) to insure Richard Hammond.”

May also commented on his latest crash, calling it a "strange lapse of character." He added: “I don’t know what I was thinking. I was trying to win, but I don’t normally care about that either. Maybe it was too much reindeer meat. Or air pressure."

May continued, “I must have left ­braking a fraction too late. As soon as I knew I needed to stop, I realised I wasn’t going to do it. I think you can see from the footage that I should try to hit (the wall) sideways and not hit any ­people or cameras on tripods. I knew I’d f***ed it up.

He still thinks Hammond contributes more to their high insurance fee, though. "But it’s still going to be mainly Richard Hammond. When I have a crash, I destroy a car that’s worth £15,000. When Hammond has a crash, he writes off a £1 million ­prototype. That’s the difference — I know not to overdo it.

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Editor's note: Gallery showing official pictures of an upcoming episode of The Grand Tour in Scandinavia

About the author: Monica Coman
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Imagine a Wenn diagram for cars and celebrities. At the intersection you'll find Monica, putting her passion for these fields and English-Spanish double major to work. She's been doing for the past seven years, most recently at autoevolution.
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