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Top Gear hosts second car-versus-fighter-jet challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:49 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:13 31 January 2020

RAF Marham F-35B Lightning races McLaren Speedtail on Top Gear. Pictures: Top Gear

RAF Marham F-35B Lightning races McLaren Speedtail on Top Gear. Pictures: Top Gear

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Top Gear’s most explosive challenge yet pits an F-35B Lightning jet from RAF Marham in a race with a McLaren Speedtail.

An RAF Marham F-35B Lightning races a McLaren Speedtail on Top Gear. Presenters Chris Harris, left, and Paddy McGuinness. Pictures: Top GearAn RAF Marham F-35B Lightning races a McLaren Speedtail on Top Gear. Presenters Chris Harris, left, and Paddy McGuinness. Pictures: Top Gear

Fans of the BBC2 show will be able to watch the mismatch at 8pm on Sunday, February 2.

The F-35B Lightning is the most advanced and dynamic fighter jet in the RAF's history, while McLaren claims that its new hypercar has a top speed of 250mph, which makes it the company's fastest production car.

Meanwhile, the fifth generation, multi-role, stealth fighter cost £100m, has guns, and boasts a top speed of 1.60 Mach, which is about 1217mph.

Philip Fleming, Head of Communications, Brands & Content at BBC, said: "It's one of the key sequences in Sunday's Top Gear show. Presenter Chris Harris is testing a McLaren Speedtail against the F-35 Lightning."

RAF Marham F-35B Lightning races McLaren Speedtail on Top Gear. Pictures: Top GearRAF Marham F-35B Lightning races McLaren Speedtail on Top Gear. Pictures: Top Gear

A spokesman for Top Gear said: "McLaren has a new hypercar which cost £2m and will do 250mph. It looks like a spaceship.

"Meanwhile, the RAF has a new fighter jet. It cost £100m, has guns, and can land vertically. To be short, it's the type of machine that you'd be utterly daft to challenge to a race. So Chris and fellow presenter Paddy McGuinness grabbed a Speedtail and went to RAF Marham to test them.

"It's more than a decade since the Top Gear original car-versus-fighter-jet epic, which saw Richard Hammond pit a Bugatti Veyron against a Eurofighter Typhoon. It's time for a rematch, which is faster, more explosive and spectacular."

The Lightnings flew from America to their new home at RAF Marham last year.

Top Gear presenters  Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, who will be seen testing a McLaren Speedtail against the F-35 Lightning. Picture: (C) Rex Shutterstock - Photographer: Rex ShutterstockTop Gear presenters Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, who will be seen testing a McLaren Speedtail against the F-35 Lightning. Picture: (C) Rex Shutterstock - Photographer: Rex Shutterstock

The station is also home to a range of engineering support functions from maintenance to frontline support.

Earlier this week, F-35 Lightning jets from RAF Marham landed on Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea, to begin training flights in UK waters.

The jets are flying daily to and from the ship's deck, giving the pilots experience in operating from a floating airfield in both daylight and at night.

Neither the Ministry of Defence nor RAF Marham wished to comment on the Top Gear challenge ahead of the airing of the programme.


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