Top Gear has a long and storied history of pissing off other countries, and the new hosts seem to be continuing this proud tradition. Evidence isn’t on the show’s side this time as speeds well over the limit—more than 150 mph in one case—were captured in Norway’s Atlantic Ocean Tunnel on Wednesday during the filming of the show.
According to Norway’s TV2, police are investigating the show thanks to pressure-sensitive sensors that caught several cars going at triple-digit speeds right around the time they were scheduled to pass through that area.
The TV station reports Top Gear got permission to film on a stretch of road up to 87 mph (or 140 kilometers per hour if you’re a European.) But when technology is tied to speed sensing capabilities, the data rarely lies. Two specific cases cropped up, with one car going between 105-112 mph and another car just touching 151 mph. This road data prompted the Norwegian authorities to pull their filming license before filming could resume.
As far as who was responsible, the story says Matt LeBlanc and Chris Harris maintain they weren’t in the area at the time. (No word about Rory Reid, but it’s also not clear whether he was filming this segment or not)
The BBC is complying, and gave this quote to The Drive when questioned on what they told authorities:
As Top Gear was filming on sections of roads closed-off in that area on the same afternoon, we are fully cooperating with the police investigation into the matter. Neither Matt LeBlanc nor Chris Harris were with production, or in the area, at the time of this alleged infringement.
This isn’t the first time Top Gear has had its run-in with Norway’s police. Just last year Top Gear tried to apply to film on their famed Atlantic Road but were denied the right. The reason? The local sheriff did not want any speed limits to be broken. Go figure.
As this is Norway, it’s going to be tough for the Top Gear team if they’re actually fined. Not only is there a fine, but possible jail time as well. Twelve over the limit puts you at $665 in fines plus 18 days behind bars. Go over 25 mph and that jumps to $1,300 and a whopping six months in the slammer. If this is proven, production might be delayed, to say the least.
Worst case scenario, Norway becomes this trio’s Argentina, and they just never go back.
H/t to Stephen!