Top Gear to thrill again in Durban

7 March 2013

Top Gear, the world’s most popular motoring show, returns to Durban for a second time in June with Top Gear Live, which will see former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen joining in the street circuit festivities.

The legendary Michael Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One world champion, said of the Finnish star: “Mika Hakkinen was the best opponent in terms of his quality, but the biggest admiration I had for him was we had 100% fight on track but a totally disciplined life off track. We respected each other highly and let each other live quietly.”

Last year, Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, People’s Park and Street Circuit played host to a sell-out event, with 67 000 visitors enjoying the explosive live show, an enthralling street circuit, and a motoring exhibition packed with some of the world’s greatest supercars, classic automobiles and motoring memorabilia.

‘Bigger and better’

Top Gear presenter James May, in a video promo on YouTube said the event should be even more entertaining this time around: “We have the world’s most exciting cars. We have a fantastic street circuit. We have the world’s only live Top Gear stadium show and it’s going to be bigger and generally better than ever.”

There will be four stadium shows, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, May and The Stig, who will be backed up by an amazing team of dare-devil precision drivers.

Also returning is the unique and action-packed Durban Street Circuit, which last year played host to a 90-minute track show hosted by Le Mans racing driver Tiff Needell and local F1 presenter and DJ Sasha Martinengo. A highlight of that show was the Formula One display and it will be back once again.

Petrolheads will also be able to immerse themselves in their favourite brands and merchandise at the extensive motoring expo out on the People’s Park.

Increased capacity

Top Gear festival director Hannah Cabral comments: “The Top Gear presenters, BBC Worldwide and the UK show’s production team were so overwhelmed with the response from the South African leg of the World-tour last year that we have decided to increase the capacity and size of the event to a whopping 80 000 people.

“We are confident that this year’s line-up of celebrities, guest drivers and awesome automobiles will allow us to achieve our visitor goal.”

It won’t be a first visit to South Africa for former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen, who previously raced at Kyalami in Johannesburg. “I’m looking forward to returning to South Africa for the Top Gear Festival in Durban,” he said.

‘Good memories’

“I had a great time when I appeared on the Top Gear show and I’m looking forward to some exciting on track action at the Festival. I have some good memories of racing in Formula One at Kyalami, and it will be great to be back in South Africa to put on a fantastic show for the crowd in Durban,” Hakkinen said.

Jeremy Clarkson is a huge fan of South Africa, and said he cannot wait to return to the Rainbow Nation. “South Africa is amazing,” he said, “a great setting for our largest event in the world tour and the only stadium show.

“The show in Durban will go down as one of our best Top Gear Live events ever.”

Tickets

As they did last year, tickets are expected to sell out. They range in price from R250 to R2 100 for an Ultimate Village Package.

For people travelling from afar, there is a full range of travel packages, including self-drive, luxury coach and flight packages which include travel and accommodation on a B&B basis in a Southern Sun three-star of four-star hotel.

SAinfo reporter

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