Top Gear Live, ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane NZ. 19-21st February 2010.
The Top Gear Live Festival was the first of it’s kind, a fully custom built racetrack designed by Greg Murphy. With many different types of racing and automotive entertainment taking place outside of the Top Gear Live Show, it was looking to be a promising event. Friday morning we had a couple of test runs on the technical 2nd and 3rd gear course, drifting the whole track. While the drifters sussed out the course quickly, the concrete barriers claimed a few other cars, mainly the classic v8 muscle cars who were getting a bit too eager with the loud pedal. The Crowd response was enormous in the afternoon, with gobs of people flocking to the stands every time we came out.
We arrived Saturday to some bad news, the council had a lot of noise complaints and they were trying to stop the drifters from going back on the track. Gaz Whiter went out for a couple noise test laps, and I joined him in one battle lap. After this, Jeremy Clarkson sent around his right-hand man and the Stig to talk with the drifters. They said how impressed they were with our driving, and heard about the dilemma we were having with noise. The BBC ended up telling the council that they want the drifters to run all day long, and they’ll pay the fines just to let us drive. Was a huge compliment to have the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and The Stig say that they were impressed with our driving. Sunday was looking to be a good day.
After the promise of getting more track time, a couple of us arrived early in the morning to be sent straight out onto the track for some quick demos. When we returned back to the pits, we were greeted by the event organiser who told us we would be on the track every 20minutes for 5 minutes at a time! Myself, Kyle Jackways, Mike Whiddett, Kurt Whittaker, Matt Jackson, and Nick Teeboon took this opportunity to show the crowds what drifting was all about. Drifting every corner, getting close to the walls, tandem battling, and burning through tyres, we gave the huge crowds their money’s worth. At the end of the day, we were congratulated on the driving were given tickets to come watch the live show in the Diamond class seating.
Was a great experience to drift at such a high level event such as Top Gear Live, I really look forward to next year and thank everyone involved with organising this one: Auckland Car Club, Hibiscus Coast Car Club, Toshiba NZ, the BBC, and Greg Murphy Motorsport.
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