No one seems all that upset that The Grand Tour has decided to part ways with “the American” Mike Skinner for series two. The NASCAR driver was unpopular with fans and the Amazon car show has spent months searching for his replacement.
With series two currently airing, they’ve finally introduced her – yes, HER – to viewers.
Clarkson & co have broken new ground with their latest hire, selecting a female driver – Abbie Eaton – after nine months spent auditioning “everyone we could think of”.
The team have tested out “former F1 drivers, rally drivers, stunt drivers, test drivers” until they ended up with the fastest. “And here she is…” teased Clarkson before showing footage of Eaton tearing up the track.
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) December 15, 2017
But – and it’s a crucial but – he failed to name his new colleague during her introductory segment, despite labelling her a “phenomenal driver” and adding “we’re delighted to have her on board”.
It’s an omission some viewers were none too happy about.
Would have been nice if at ANY point in the segment they’d said her name rather than just calling her “She”. Her name is Abbie Eaton. https://t.co/BIY6m56oAO
— Halfbeaks (@Halfbeaks) December 15, 2017
Anyone else annoyed that The Grand Tour didn’t announce *who* the new track driver is, it was Abbie Eaton who drove 10/10: https://t.co/wHTgUM1syN
— GregularExpressions (@greggunner) December 15, 2017
This rules, but…say her name! https://t.co/aSqm1aTlzJ
— Stef Schrader (@stefthepef) December 15, 2017
Eaton is a 25-year-old professional racer from England with plenty of experience – including the SAXMAX Championship, GT Cup and British GT Championship.
In contrast, when Skinner was introduced in the series one premiere he was named and his NASCAR credentials were mentioned before he was shown on the track.
Still, the decision to leave Eaton anonymous has not dampened fans’ enthusiasm for the show’s first female driver:
— ?MissMsport??? (@MissMsport) December 16, 2017
— Nolene Dougan (@NoleneDougan) December 16, 2017
my heart skipped when Jeremy said “she”
congrats to Abbie Eaton! I’m so glad that after all these years, the boys finally let a woman dominate the track https://t.co/YjJL7fUZf3
— Auld Lang Sean (@thatSeanBarry) December 15, 2017
And the woman herself is “loving the new changes” made to the show…
— Abbie Eaton (@AbbieEaton44) December 15, 2017
The Grand Tour series two continues on Fridays on Amazon Video