It’s been a tumultuous year for fans of Top Gear. Jeremy Clarkson threw that infamous punch and was promptly let go from the show. James May and Richard Hammond then left of their own accord leaving Top Gear in need of a new trio to take the place of the old one. Chris Evans was announced as one presenter a few months ago and now we know the identities of his partners in crime.
According to The Telegraph, joining Evans will be German racer Sabine Schmitz and journalist Chris Harris when the show returns on May 8th in the UK. They’re not faces many people know, but they both have the automotive chops required to pull off the show.
Schmitz is a 46-year-old professional racer for BMW and Porsche. She’s known for driving a BMW M5 “Ring Taxi” around the track. This won’t be her first exposure to Top Gear as she appeared on the show back in 2004 where she raced Clarkson and won. Her nickname is “Queen of the Nürburgring” which bodes well for seeing some fun when they put her behind the wheel on the track. Although, recent filming with Chris Harris proved it might be too fun, with the man getting carsick on the track.
Chris Harris is a 40-year-old Brit who is both an automotive journalist and racer. He has written for various magazines including Autocar and has been a presenter on both Drive and Chris Harris on Cars.
The show will also have a new executive producer as Lisa Clark announced that she is leaving the show. Clark has only been with Top Gear for five months. She took over after Andy Wilman left to follow Clarkson, Hammond, and May over to their new Amazon show. A new executive producer hasn’t been announced.
Evans has been tight-lipped out the new Top Gear only recently revealing that it would be back on television in the UK on May 8. The plan calls for 16 episodes this year with Evans signed on for a three-year deal as lead presenter.
Meanwhile, the old Top Gear hosts are working on their big-budget Amazon prime show, which still doesn’t have a title. Amazon is said to be spending £160 million ($238 million) on 36 episodes. They will air over three years and net Clarkson a payday of £10 million ($14.8 million). That makes his per episode rate nearly what his annual BBC salary was on Top Gear.