Top Gear show makes for awesome Father’s Day

2013-06-17 00:00

OSCAR Pistorius, necklacing and an encouragement to drive fast on public roads were just three of the carefully choreographed gaffes that the Top Gear team slipped into the live show, hosted in Durban at the weekend.

The fans who packed out the north side of the Moses Mabhida stadium in four sell-out shows did not even flinch. This is now standard fare from the live version of world’s most watched factual show, produced by Rowland French and hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. To Top Gear fans, the hosts are just known as Jezza, who is like a naughty uncle; the Hamster, the favourite cousin; and Captain Slow, the boring science teacher who also has chemicals that can explode.

Whatever references these three made to the real world of death and mayhem went as far over the heads of the 12-year-old fans (many of them going on 40) as did captain Scully Levine leading the Gabriel Pitts Special planes in an acrobatics display.

This year’s live show, which will repeat in several countries, treated the punters to several firsts, including Jezza spinning doughnuts on a replica of the televised show’s stage, sidecar polo, limbo motorbike jumping and radio jock-turned-publicist Sasha Martinengo being dropped in car bungee.

Inside the stadium, international stunt drivers wowed the crowd with precision handbrake parking and laughed as the presenters raced the Stig in three-wheelers guaranteed to roll over. On the street circuit outside the stadium Geniel de Villiers showed his Red Bull Toyota Dakar rally car, with Martinengo and rally driver, Gugu Zulu hosting the show.

Aucor did brisk business auctioning top sports cars on Saturday, ranging from a Prospecton-built Backdraft roadster to several Aston Martins.

At the Shell stand, petrolheads of all ages formed a long queue for a chance to qualify to race around the F1 Kyalami track in an F1 simulator.

Those who did not cut the time could try their hand at changing an F1 wheel in a few seconds. Few could manage to do it in less than 14.

A tweet by Jeremy Raman, retweeted by Martinengo, best sums up the day: “Just got back from @TopGearFestSA WOW ... @F1sasha @JeremyClarkson @MrJamesMay @RichardHammond you guys made my father’s day... AWESOME!”

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