Durban in ‘top gear’ for 2nd festival

2013-06-07 00:00

DURBAN is in ‘top gear’ and ready to host its second consecutive Top Gear Festival.

City mayor James Nxumalo told a press briefing yesterday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium the city is hoping to net in excess of R90 million from the event, which will see the television show’s iconic hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, and the Stig entertain the Durban crowd.

“The event plays an important role in promoting the city as a tourism and investment hub. We are excited to be hosting this event for a second time and welcome the team back,” said Nxumalo.

He said preliminary talks are already underway to bring the global show back to Durban in 2014.

Representing the BBC’s Top Gear team Hannah Cabral called Durban “world class” and urged the public to snap up the remaining tickets. She said they will be using the event to woo potential clients from Nigeria and Europe to host similar events.

“It took four months to get ready for the event. The street circuit is ready to go and of course we have a few secrets in the bag,” said Cabral.

This will be the third major event hosted by the city on the trot, having started with the Comrades Marathon and the Castle Lager Incoming Series to be hosted at King’s Park this weekend.

Top Gear’s street circuit, which is 2,8 km long and winds around the streets of Durban, will allow Durbanites to be an active part of the spectacular two-day event.

The street circuit will start at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, run along Masabalala Yengwa (NMR) Avenue, Sandile Thusi (Argyle) Road, through the Natal Command site, past Suncoast Casino and the King’s Park Pool to return at the stadium.

This year the street track includes a few new elements — a chicane and two hairpin bends — one outside the King’s Park swimming pool and the other located outside the Drive-in site.

The track inside the Moses Mabhida Stadium is also completed.

There will be partial road closures building up to the show and a complete shutdown in the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct from June 15 to June 16.

Roads affected are Sylvester Ntuli, Battery Beach Road, Sandile Thusi Road, Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, Ruth First and Suncoast Boulevard.

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