Top Gear takes off

2013-06-15 00:00

IF you’re not attending the Top Gear Festival, avoid the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct in Durban like the plague — the area around the stadium is expected to be gridlocked as major roads in the CBD are closed to accommodate the festival taking place today and tomorrow.

Roads linking to the M4 and alternate routes around the stadium were jam-packed yesterday afternoon, as motorists attempted to find the easiest way to avoid congestion in and out of the Durban CBD and around the stadium.

On Twitter, the Top Gear trio of James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson remained mum about details of their show but instead tweeted pictures of the live show arena inside the main stadium.

Clarkson tweeted: “The greatest stadium in the world. And our home for the next five days”.

Inside the stadium the echoing roars of super cars’ V8 and V12 engines could be heard on the race track in practice runs for the event.

Racy red Ferraris, yellow Lamborghinis and Porsches, not normally seen around Durban, were spotted driving in and out of the exhibition venue.

Clutching boxes and other items to set up their stands, exhibitors were also caught by the rush of preparations for today.

Jasmeena Shiba, director of Royal Vulcanizing tyre fitment, who are exhibiting at the show, said that preparations for the event had been busy.

“Setting up for the event has been a little easier than last year but nevertheless still hectic.

“Exhibitors are remaining calm and collected,” she said.

Sharmaine Reuter-Smith, KZN marketing manager for Media24’s local newspapers, who is exhibiting the Fever community newspapers at the festival, said that there was an “exciting vibe at the stadium” with all the exhibitors gearing up to cater for the thousands of fans expected to attend.

Last year’s event saw thousands of spectators and motoring enthusiasts attending the festival showcasing cars doing risky drifts around flame-throwing machines and even a game of soccer played with city cars.

eThekwini Metro Police spokesperson Eugene Msomi said that they had improved on the planning for the operations from last year by closing off roads earlier to ensure sufficient time to prepare for the event.

“Roads were blocked off since Thursday morning after peak times and reopened in the afternoon. The same process was followed for Friday, but after 7 pm the M4 was closed around the stadium, opening again at 10 pm on Sunday evening,” he said.

Msomi added that 240 metro police members would be stationed and on patrol at the detour roads and roads that are closed off.


The Stig gears up for the Top Gear Festival with his superfan and Mini-Stig, Amal Shiba (6).

Moses Mabhida : Home of motoring for the next five days

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