Top Gear Festival 2013 part 1
The Top Gear Festival made its Australian debut last weekend at the Sydney Motor Sport Park, Eastern Creek.
The event was much bigger than the Top Gear Live shows held in Sydney previous years. It has grown from a two-hour indoor show to an all-day event, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May, the Stig, Shane Jacobson and Steve Pizzati.
The location was the Sydney Motorsport Park and the events were held on the track, around the track and in the air.
As I took a ton of photos, I’ve decided to split them up in two parts. First up are photos of all the action on the track. All cars on display will be covered in my next post.
The 2013 Formula 1 season is about to kick off in Melbourne this weekend. A great excuse for Aussie F1 race winner Mark Webber to get behind the wheel of the Infiniti Red Bull Formula One car for a few laps around the track.
First up on his schedule was to try and beat the circuit’s lap record, which was set by Nico Hülkenberg in 2007 at 1:19.1420. Mark Webber easily smashed that record with an impressive 1:13.6060!
Webber returned later in the day for another race in his Red Bull Formula One car. This time he was not alone. Next to him were two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner and four-time V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup. This race was my highlight of the day. It was pretty impressive to see the two cars and motorbike lined up at the starting line for a race. As the light turned green Casey Stoner quickly gained the lead for the first 70 meters or so before Webber caught up in the Formula One car.
From there Webber only increased his lead over the 3 following laps while Stoner and Whincup kept pretty close to each other. After three laps Webber had lapped them both and they all arrived together at the straight again, followed by a lot of burning rubber by Webber and Whincup, spectacular!
The Stig also showed up for a few power laps. I only saw two of the laps he did. The first power lap I saw was in a Volvo Polestar and the other one was in the new Lotus Exige.
Earlier on the day Jamie Whincup was racing a different kind of race on the circuit. He raced his Red Bull Racing Australia V8 Supercar against Matt Hall in his aerobatic plane. Which on paper sounds a bit more exciting than it actually was. I was imagining a low flying plane over the starting line but Hall did the lap pretty high in the sky. I was lucky to be on the pitroof and was able to view the full event but spectators in the grandstand weren’t able to see the plane most of the lap.
And it wouldn’t be Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson and James May do some funny (but cheesy) stunts like James May racing a Komatsu against Jamie Whincup and Jeremy Clarkson racing a Nissan R35 GTR against Aussie schoolboy James Gallaugher in the 100m sprint, which Jeremy won.
The last stunt of the day that I saw was the Lamborghini jump, which was pretty spectacular. A stuntman jumped over a speeding Lamborghini, the same one that I highlighted in a previous post.
All the track photos can be seen below. Stay tuned for all the cars that were on display.
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