‘Insane’ start to festival

2012-06-16 00:00

“COMPLETELY insane.”

This was how Sudhir Matai, associate editor of CAR magazine, described yesterday’s practice runs for the world-first street races at a Top Gear Live festival.

The Durban-born Matai, who is one of the 30 VW Polo Cup racers, told Weekend Witness three cars shunted in the practice laps around Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday, with front racer Mark Silverwood’s Polo written off.

On Wednesday, Matai told The Witness that while the stunts in Top Gear Live are spectacular, the really dangerous action would all happen between the concrete barriers for the street races today and tomorrow.

“It is completely insane. It is easy to lose track of where you are between the narrow barriers, and there are no markings to tell you where to hit the brakes,” he said.

Asked if this would make the racers go any slower to give the Top Gear fans less of a spectacle, Matai said “going slower” was not an option when more than 30 guys bunch up to race. “I confidently predict a few more massive shunts this weekend,” Matai said.

Things happened a lot slower for thousands of people who queued for their “peasant” tickets at the four collection points yesterday.

Organisers warned fans that the ticket collection point at the Moses Mabhida Stadium closed today.

Tickets can still be collected at the Sun Coast Casino, Gateway Theatre of Shopping information desk the King Shaka International Airport.

Parking for the festival can be purchased throughout the weekend from Suncoast Casino and Gateway Mall, but visitors are advised to rather purchase parking online before arriving at designated car parks.

Parking tickets will be allocated per gold, silver, bronze or family tickets, on a 1:4 ratio, and cost R50.

Anyone driving in the Moses Mabhida area is advised to note which roads are closed for the event.

Farouk Farista, Shell GM Africa lubricants, the festival’s main sponsor, told Weekend Witness more than 70 000 people would be collecting their tickets over the weekend.

He said as long they had lubed up with his products, their engines would tick over nicely no matter how long the queues stretched at the three collection points today and tomorrow.

The full weekend programme


9 am: Displays open at

• Midas Marque Park;

• Harley Davidson;

• Mercedes World;

• Franschoek Motoring


• Expo Area; and

• Super Car Lifestyle Paddock

MSA Category 1 racing starts on the street circuit

10 am to 1.30 pm:

• Stig Lap 1 on the Street Circuit

• Super Car Grudge Match

• History of F1 Parade

• Stig Lap 2

• SA Taxi Record Attempt

• Top Gear Internationals Challenge

• Super Car Surprise

• Man vs Car

• Celebrity Quarter Mile Dash

• Stig Lap 3

• Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Car display

• Corporate Hour

12 pm to 12.30 pm:

• Aucor Action at the Action Zone

• Shell V Power Stunt School

• Monster Energy Drnk FMX Display

• Bell and Toyota McCarthy 4x4 Track

1 pm: Gates open for Show 1

2 pm: Show 1 starts

2.30 pm: MSA Category 3 and 4 Street Circuit

3 pm: Show 1 ends

3.30 pm to 5.30 pm: (On the street circuit)

• Stig Lap 1 on the Street Circuit

• Super Car Grudge Match

• History of F1 Parade

• Stig Lap 2

• SA Taxi Record Attempt

• Top gear Internationals Challenge

• Super Car Surprise

• Man vs Car

• Stig Lap 3

• Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Car display

• Celebrity Quarter Mile Dash

6.30 pm: Gates open for Show 2

7.30 pm: Show 2 starts

8 pm: Motoring Pavilion closes

9 pm: Show 2 ends and displays close

10 pm: Back stage passes and Top Gear Festival closes


All day until 10 pm:

• Ruth First Freeway — northbound carriageway closed at Somtseu Road (restricted access to Durban Central police station).

Tommorow until 10 pm:

• Masabalala Yengwa (NMR) Ave — southbound carriageway closed at Smiso Nkwanyana (Goble) Road (restricted access).

• Masabalala Yengwa (NMR) Ave — northbound carriageway closed at Sandile Thusi (Argyle) Road.

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