The race was undertaken to determine which of the three presenters would have to cross into Mexico to review the Mastretta MXT, the very car which the presenters ridiculed in a controversial news segment in series sixteen. The race started at Palm Springs and ended in Calexico at the border with neighbouring Mexico.
Prior to the start of the race James and Jeremy decided to sabotage Hammond's race by tinkering with his Viper as they believed that the Mexico controversy was mainly because of Hammond. James and Jeremy put his seat all the way back, moved the car's electric pedals all the way forward, put fruit in his exhaust pipe, and disconnected two of the Viper's HT leads. The following morning the race began with the three presenters each asking a lady for the keys to their car. James set off first in the Aston Martin Vanquish. Jeremy was next in the Lexus LFA, held back by his complicated seat belt. As Richard was about to set off he realized that there was something wrong with his car. Eventually fixing the problems with his car Richard set off whilst James and Jeremy were stuck in traffic in downtown Palm Springs.
After leaving the city of Palm Springs, the three presenters were each faced with a choice: taking one of two roads around the Salton Sea. James took the shorter route on a freeway hoping that there wouldn't be too much traffic. Meanwhile, Jeremy had chosen to take the longer route hoping that it would be quiter, allowing him to drive faster. But Jeremy had another choice, his range indicated that at his current speed he wouldn't make it to the border so he had to chose between driving slower to save petrol or drive fast and pull over to refuel. Jeremy decides to drive fast and refuel, pleased with his choice of road because of the scenery. Jeremy then called up Hammond, only to be greeted by anger from Richard, he told Hammond that he is on the other side of the Salton Sea. Much to Hammond's chagrin, he then told Hammond that James is on the same side as him. After learning that James is on the same road as him, Richard decides to speed up in hopes to catch up to the Aston.
On the other side of the Salton Sea, Jeremy is forced to pull over and refuel while James had reaches the bottom of the sea. He is now faced with another choice: there are three roads leading to the town of Calexico but James has no idea which is the fastest. James knows that Jeremy will take the road closest to his side of the sea as he will get there first but he does not know which Hammond will take.
All three presenters enter the town at its northern side, having each taken a different road to the city. The presenters are now all searching for the border crossing; while James is stuck at a red light Jeremy finds the Mexican border and is the first to arrive. James follows behind leaving Richard to come in last some considerable time later. James and Jeremy wish Hammond goodbye as he walks on foot to the border.