by Máté Petrány / hagerty.com
Back in 2007, the old Top Gear team decided to send Richard Hammond in a Bugatti Veyron against the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon, a combat jet pushed forward by 40,460 pounds of thrust with its afterburners on, capable of a top cruising flight speed of Mach 1.21. Yet as it flew back and forth above a relatively short runway, the Eurofighter was never going to get close to that 921-mph peak figure, which left Hammond and his 254 mph Bugatti with a fighting chance. Or as Hammond would put it: "Fighting for the Germans in a battle against the Royal Air Force."
Managing 188 mph on the way up and 196 mph on return, Hammond certainly did his best from the driver’s seat of the Veyron.
Some 13 years after that great race, the new Top Gear crew of Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness decided to follow up by borrowing McLaren’s brand new 250-mph Speedtail. The McLaren set out against the RAF’s Lockheed Martin F-35B, the Lightning II variant modified for short takeoff and vertical landing. While the center-seat McLaren is optimized for straight-line speed over high-downforce cornering like a Senna, with Mr. Harris behind the wheel, Top Gear decided to throw the car into three wide corners, as well.
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