Top Gear Live is go go go at the ExCel London, in the latest stop of the world tour our favourite trio of middle aged men muck about in an attempt to upstage the London 2012 Olympics. This year’s show is bigger and better than ever before with an exhibition hall featuring supercars rarer than rocking-horse faeces as well as an indoor test track designed by Lotus engineers.
“Since none of us managed to get tickets in the Olympic ballot we thought we’ll do our own running, skipping and throwing event but with cars…and flames…explosions…and motorised chariots and things,” the words of Jeremy Clarkson sum up the show quite nicely.
The Top Gear Olympiad was a great success, you can never have too many explosions and the Olympic theme even paid tribute to British culture, albeit with added POWERRRR. Their very own opening ceremony included Beefeaters that happened to dabble in stunt motocross jumping as well as V8 powered black cab and a powersliding bus – beat that Danny Boyle!
The main events were loosely based on the idea of the word “sport” with the added splash of petrol of course for classic Top Gear brilliance; Clarkson’s Ben Hur style scooter powered chariot racing, May’s idea of motorbike limbo jumping as well as a fantastic stunt driving synchronised swimming display using a fleet of Ford Focuses without any swimming or water for that matter. The presenters got stuck into some action packed challenges too which saw Clarkson take on Hammond in Fiat Stilo car curling, and an elaborate take on the classic game of splat the rat… …with Rover Cityrovers.
For the real car enthusiasts the Top Gear Live show had some stunners taking part in a beauty contest with the McLaren MP4-12C and Lamborghini Aventador making their debuts alongside some of the most sought after supercars on the planet including the Porsche 911 GT2, Ferrari 458, Alfa Romeo 8C, Ferrari 599 GTO, Mercedes SLS AMG and Ferrari Enzo to name a few.
The amicable banter between presenters is something that the audience loved, there were roars of laughter as well as a few wolf whistles for the presenters from the devoted Top Gear fans. The anticipation for the show was so great, the stunt driving adverts from Skoda and Citroen were applauded before the show even started.
Aside from the show, in another of the many halls in the ExCel was the exhibition, various tuning brands featured the latest pieces of sparkly alloy wheeled toot for Range Rovers, Audi Q7s and BMW X6s with vehicle wrapping for the unstable minded motorists who’d rather cover up their vehicles’ paintwork in matt pink sticky back plastic. But having barged through the crowds of F1 merchandise wearing petrolheads I stumbled across a few treasured bits of Top Gear TV including the Christmas special convertibles, the Majorca rally MG and the Lexus Rozzers Police car. The exhibition gave fans the opportunity to get close and personal with the Top Gear sofas as well as giving them the chance to take a ride on a very special Top Gear Experience simulator ride.
The best bit for me was seeing two of the rarest and most beautiful cars in the world – the Lamborghini Miura and the Ferrari 250 GTO. This Miura was parked up with its cousins from the Lamborghini Owners Club UK, surprisingly outshining the likes of the Murciélago and Countach, if anything the other flamboyant Lamborghinis looked dull in the presence of the Miura.
There was only one car in the whole of the hall that could top the Miura on looks, arguably the best looking and rarest supercar on the planet – the Ferrari 250 GTO. It was very sentimental to be greeted by 250 GTOs gleaming curves just days after the passing of the man who designed and crafted its remarkable looks. In the same way that Leonardo Da Vinci’s artwork has been preserved and shared in museums around the world for future generations to appreciate, the owner of this priceless Ferrari has bravely shared his pride and joy with the public for others to admire the car and appreciate Sergio Scaglietti’s genius.
The track event was a new feature for this year, giving petrolheads the chance to see breathe and hear some exciting cars racing around the custom built test track. It included an exciting old versus new drag race, power laps from Group B rally cars and supercars too. As well as featuring the driving skills of the Stig and a few of his friends including Tiff Needel, Le Mans legend Derek Bell and Queen of the ‘Ring Sabine Schmitz. A number of A-list celebs will also take to the track at various times over the weekend to attempt to put in their fastest power laps in the Kia Cee’d, although we have word that Chris Evans may have slightly damaged the Kia on Thursday.
Top Gear isn’t just a TV show, with thousands of fans sharing their passion for motoring around the world, Hammond, Clarkson May and Stiggy too have become rock stars of all things cars. We may not have a British motorshow but thank goodness we’ve got Top Gear.
For a full slideshow of all our photos, clicky here.
Hear what the passionate Top Gear fans thought of Top Gear Live in this great video:
Thanks to Independent Media News for the video