Next month, the Sydney Motorsport Park is to be taken over by bawdy British humour and the sound of crunching wheels as the Top Gear Sydney Festival returns to the city. Conducting a consort of steal-on-wheels and motor-minded celebs, last year Jeremey Clarkson hosted the first ever Top Gear Sydney Festival, which was a roaring success, attracting over 40 000 petrol-heads to the park.
Despite Clarkson’s vow never to return to Australia – cried out after being chased by paparazzi down the city quay-side – the controversial presenter is returning to host the festival with James May and The Stig, alongside Aussies Shane Jacobson and Steve Pizatti.
The festival, taking place on the 8th and 9th March, will showcase the best of British and Australian cars, as well as the eccentricities and daring that fans of the show have come to expect. Last year the festival-goers were treated to Red Bull F1 racers Mark Webber, Jamie Whincup and Casey Stoner squaring-off in the Aussie Speed Showdown, a race between Clarkson in a Nissan GTR and the Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke, and the infamous Car vs Plane race.
What to look forward to
Much of the 2014 festival is still under wraps, but organisers are promising that it is to be bigger and bolder than last year. As on the show, the festival will give fans the chance to watch daredevils push motors to their limits, show off their skills on four-wheels, and write-off vehicles in the most flamboyant manner possible.
The most exciting fixture this year looks to be the appearance of Daniel Ricciardo, the former Aussie Formula 1 driver who will be taking a spin of the lap in his Infiniti Red Bull. There will also be a celebration of racing icon Ayrton Senna featuring the MP4/4 that he raced in the 1968 Formula One World Championships. Also billed is the ambiguous Toyota Landcruiser Challenge and the Subaru WRX Experience.
Like last year, there will be helicopters offering joyrides and transfers to the festival for visitors from afar. For those wanting to keep wheels on the road, there are limousine services available between the city and airport which can be booked here, or at SouthWest.co Limousine Rental. At the festival, when taking a breather from the fumes and adrenalin, you can look into the Top Gear VIP Terrace, a new feature this year, offering a birds-eye view of the festival and access to the Pit Lane rooftop.
Graham Smith Graham is a Brit living Down Under, fuelling his passion for thrills with dirt track racing and mountain biking in Lysterfield Park