Next Episode of Driving Wild is
Former Formula 1 mechanic, Marc "Elvis" Priestley, gets up close to some of the world's most fascinating amateur motorsports.Elvis was one of McLaren Racing's top mechanics, helping the team become Formula 1 world champions. Now, he's after a new challenge: he's going back to basics, taking his F1 know-how to some of the most extraordinary amateur motorsports on the planet. These include tractor pulling in the UK, car spinning in South Africa, hopping low‐riders in Mexico, folk racing in Sweden, drag racing in Cuba, and long-tail boat racing in Thailand.Travelling thousands of miles, Elvis takes his specialist knowledge to each grassroots racing scene, and works with local auto experts to build superior vehicles for competition.With little time, limited funds, strict guidelines and foreign motorsports, the likes of which he has never seen before, Elvis will not only attempt to transform these motors into winners, but also thrill the crowds and honour the traditions along the way.
It was born on the streets of apartheid South Africa, and it's now a legitimate, insanely popular motorsport. It's car spinning, where - in the townships around Johannesburg - old BMWs carve out ballet-like moves in special, purpose-built arenas. There are no prizes; it's all about show and reputation. Fail to please the crowds and you're booed off.
Elvis wants to give the fans something different, something they've never seen before – a Formula 1-style pit stop. But this manoeuvre is new for Elvis's crew. Can they execute in front of the toughest audience of all – the spinning fans of downtown Jo'burg?
In the 1950s, Californians began adapting cars to drive just inches off the ground. The aim? To look cool, of course. Now, it's a scene loved by millions across the U.S. and Latin America. Elvis is in Mexicali with the guys of the Aztlan Car Club, bringing his F1 skills to hopping, a sub-genre of lowriding in which cars "hop" on their rear axle. One of Los Angeles's top teams is in town, and to see whose car can go highest they've challenged the Aztlan Car Club to a hop-off. Elvis has one week to turn an ordinary car into a hopper, and beat the Americans at their own game.
It's the most powerful motorsport in the world! In tractor pulling, monster machines kitted-out with engines from tanks, submarines and aircraft compete to pull a huge sledge down a one hundred-metre track. Whoever gets the furthest is the winner. Elvis has less than two weeks to use his Formula 1 know-how to build a tractor capable of racing. He's teamed with two old-time pullers - Geoff Garrett and Richard "Turbo" Vincent - but the wheels come off when Elvis and the guys fall foul of the new health and safety-conscious rules of the sport, meaning they must rip apart their plans and build a whole new tractor from scratch.
It's one of the fastest growing motorsports in Scandinavia – racing second-hand, souped-up cars around mud and tarmac tracks. Elvis is in Sweden with the boys from Misty Racing, one of the country's leading teams. He's using his elite racing knowledge to turn a scrapyard Saab into a Folkrace car. But Elvis faces a unique challenge. Folkrace is governed by strict financial rules designed to keep the sport affordable to all – and he's allowed just £500 to transform his junkyard jalopy into a racing machine. He's got just one week to do it, before jumping behind the wheel for one of Sweden's biggest competitions of the year.
They're the symbols of modern Cuba – the rusting American Buicks, Chevys and Dodges that throng Havana. Now, these ancient monsters have spawned a new sport – drag racing, Cuban-style. Elvis teams up with amateur dragster, Freddy, and uses his F1 skillset to make Freddy's ‘56 Chevy capable of defeating the island champion. But spare parts are impossible to find as cars are mostly patched togethe, and the face-off is in just seven days' time. Unless Elvis can overcome these obstacles and turn Freddy's Chevy into a dream machine, they'll be left on the starting line.
Take a wooden boat designed to carry rice along the Thai waterways – then customise it with engines cannibalised from motorbikes, cars or jet skis. The result? A boat that hurtles along at 90mph, piloted by madcap racers with no helmets, safety harnesses or fear. Welcome to the world of Thailand's long-tail racing. Elvis develops a plan to build a race-winner using his F1 know-how – reducing friction along the water the same way racing cars reduce drag – and uses F1 techniques to give the engine a bit more grunt. The boat will compete at one of Thailand's biggest annual events. Will it win, or will this be a sinking ship?
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