The long race to freedom! Idris Elba tries his hand at rallying for new TV series … but damages his Ford Fiesta during test drive in Belfast
Idris Elba is known for his brooding TV work in Luther and The Wire, but now the actor is proving his metal behind the wheel.
The British star braced for the Circuit of Ireland Rally on Saturday, although it looks like he didn’t get off to a good start.
The Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom actor was pictured assessing the damage to his Ford Fiesta after arriving in Banbridge for a time check.
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Need for Speed: Idris Elba arrives at a time check in Banbridge as he prepares to compete in the Circuit of Ireland 2015 ERC FIA European Rally Championship for his new documentary series
Idris certainly looked racing in his white overalls and matching helmet, but his car looked a bit more rutted.
The actor is competing in the 2015 ERC FIA European Rally Championship as part of a new factual television series for Discovery Channel.
He had learned the mechanics of the Ford Fiesta R1 from British junior rally champion Gus Greensmith, but testing the car on closed roads clearly did not go smoothly.
Whoops ! The actor accidentally damaged British junior rally champion Gus Greensmith’s Ford Fiesta R1 on Saturday during a test drive
Education: For this episode of the new program, Idris was coached by Jimmy McRae, seven-time Irish Circuit winner and rally legend.
Looks in the game: Elba wears full racing gear for the Belfast test drive
The BAFTA-nominated actor is known for his love of engines, having previously animated his own Idris Elba: King of Speed car series.
For this episode of the new program, Idris was trained by seven-time Irish Circuit winner and rally legend Jimmy McRae.
The 42-year-old actor will also visit the Monte Carlo rally as well as other locations around the British Isles, Florida and California.
Safety first: Idris dons a helmet before getting into the race car
Mentors: The actor chats with seven-time Irish Circuit winner and rally legend Jimmy McRae (left)
Motorhead: Idris is a fan of cars and has been on another Idris Elba: King Of Speed series before
It won’t just be the race that Elba faces, as he will also try his hand at street racing, aerobatics and speed boating – as well as learning about the science and history of each sport.
“I’m taking on the toughest racing challenges of my life,” the actor said of the series.
“Along the way, I’ll meet amazing people, spectacular machines, and hear amazing stories about how far people travel to satisfy their love of speed. The extreme challenges will take me out of my comfort zone as I compete against the best on land, on the water and in the air. ‘
The series began filming in January and will air on the Discovery Channel in 220 territories around the world in mid-2015.
Coming soon: Filming for the series began in January and will air on the Discovery Channel in 220 territories around the world in mid-2015