The entire, six (or seven) person team of the new and re-invented Top Gear has been revealed. Here's who you'll be watching.
From left to right: longtime motoring journalist and gadget fanatic Rory Reid, Ring Taxi driver and former D MOTOR presenter Sabine Schmitz, Friends star and car fanatic Matt LeBlanc, radio host and multiple Ferrari owner Chris Evans, YouTube's own Chris Harris, veteran F1 commenter Eddie Jordan, and the Stig.
Eddie Jordan was the founder and owner of the Jordan Grand Prix F1 team — which eventually became Force India — between 1991 and 2005, and in 2009 joined the BBC's F1 commentary and analysis team as well as writing for F1 Racing magazine.
Sabine Schmitz is a professional racing driver and development driver for BMW and Porsche, and until 2011 drove the BMW M5 "Ring Taxi". Alongside her driving career she's also been a presenter for Germany's D MOTOR motoring show, and has circled the 20.8km Nurburgring approximately 30,000 times (her own estimation).
Rory Reid is the presenter of Gadget Geeks on the UK Sky 1 channel, and is the editor in chief of cars & tech website Recombu. He's also part of the YouTube channel Fast, Furious and Funny. Reid actually applied for the Top Gear role during public auditions, rather than being head-hunted by the BBC production team.
Chris Harris is one of the former presenters of /DRIVE and Chris Harris on Cars, both incredibly high quality motoring shows built around YouTube. Harris placed fourth in the 2010 24 Hours Nurburgring, has written for EVO and has even contributed to our sister site Jalopnik.
Matt LeBlanc is best known for his iconic role as Joey on Friends, but since has worked with the show's creator again on Episodes. He's one of the fastest drivers on Top Gear's old test track in multiple cars, and holds the record as the fastest Star In A Reasonably Priced Car. After owning a couple of Ferraris including a 360 Modena, he's currently a big fan of his Porsche 997 GT2.
Chris Evans has been a radio presenter in the UK for a long time, previously on BBC Radio 2's Drivetime and his own breakfast show. As a massive Ferrari fan — he paid £5 million for a 250 GT California, then bought a Ferrari 250 GTO for £12 million, later selling it for US$42 million. He has a ridiculous car collection.
From BBC's press release: Chris Evans said of his new Top Gear gang: “We really do have a bit of everything for everyone. A fellow lifelong petrolhead from the other side of the pond in Matt; a fearless speed-demon in the irrepressible and effervescent Sabine; the encyclopedic, funny and wonderfully colourful character that is EJ; Chris, one of the world’s top no-nonsense car reviewers; and Rory, who simply blew me away in his audition and fully deserves his place on the team."
Eddie Jordan said: “I’m giddy with excitement to be joining Chris and the team. I have such enormous respect for all my fellow presenters and I politely ask that they go easy on these old bones. Cars are in my DNA and although I’ve been fortunate enough to accomplish most things I ever aspired to in motorsport, presenting Top Gear is quite simply the icing on the cake.”
Chris Harris said: “Top Gear is the thing that helped shape my life with cars, my perception of cars and my obsession with cars, and I’m raring to give it a go. I’m also quite gobby and happy to get into trouble, so I'm hoping I can underpin the programme with journalistic credibility but still cause some mischief. And if it all goes wrong, well, I can say I was once on Top Gear, and just head back to being that annoying small bloke off YouTube."
Sabine Schmitz added: “I grew up next to the Nurburgring, and have been racing for most of my life, so the chance to combine both driving and filming was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’ve appeared on Top Gear a few times in the past, so I know we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Rory Reid commented: “When I submitted my 30-second audition tape, I knew the odds were very firmly against me, as the auditions were open to absolutely everybody. To be the only person to make it through the open audition process makes me immensely proud. I've been a Top Gear fan for decades, but more than that, I live and breathe cars in a way that is perfectly compatible with the show. I'm looking forward to bringing my brand of knowledge, energy and humour to what promises to be a very exciting new series.”
The Stig, clearly not wanting to be left out of today’s announcement, sent the following reply via electronic communication: “-.-. .... . .— .. . —..— / .— . .——. .-. . / .... —- — . .-.-.-“
That Morse code message from the Stig?
"CHEWIE, WE'RE HOME."