We absolutely love daredevil antics in cars and on motorcycles, given they are done safely and by professionals. The folks at Top Gear Live are just about to satisfy our craving by pulling off the first 720 on four wheels, which Top Gear has dubbed the “Deadly 720.” The term “720” refers to a pair of 360-degree loops in succession, so absolute perfection is required to succeed in tackling each loop.
To give you an idea of just how much precision is needed, the engineers heading up the stunt have estimated that the customized buggy that Top Gear Live is using for this stunt must enter each loop between 24 and 26 mph, 2 mph more could result in excessive G-force and result in the driver blacking out and 2 mph too low would cause the buggy to fall from the loop. To help avoid driver error, Top Gear has fitted the special stunt buggy with an accelerator lock that will hold the accelerator in a precise position to maintain the prescribed speed, so the driver can focus only on keeping the buggy on the 58-meter-long track.
Despite the accelerator lock, we all know that any given car can run drastically different from one day to the next, so even with the lock, there is still a great possibility that the car will have too much or too little speed and we will see a spectacular crash. We are pretty certain that there will be tons of test runs on the actual day to make sure the car is perfect, so a crash is very unlikely.
Crash or not, we are all set to see history take place at the Top Gear Festival in the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 16th – 17th, 2012. Ah, the things people will do to get in a record book.
UPDATE 06/19/2012: The group at Top Gear finally attempted the “Deadly 720” this weekend, and just as expected… It all went exactly to plan. This places the Top Gear Live clan in the Guinness Book of World Record for the most loops by an automobile. Congrats to our Top Gear daredevils. We have also attached a video of the stunt (above). Hit the one minute mark to skip the introductions.
Click past the jump to read Top Gear’s full press release.
THE MOST ASTOUNDING CAR STUNT YET…
The awe-inspiring Top Gear Live Stunt Team is taking another deep breath and is aiming for a further World Record when it attempts to become the first to successfully complete a spectacular double loop-the-loop feat.
Called the „Deadly 720‟, the nail-biting stunt has never been performed before and will be staged in front of record 15,000 strong live audiences during four action-packed shows at this weekend‟s Top Gear Festival in the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa (16-17 June).
The Deadly 720 is the latest in a succession of daring exploits performed by the Top Gear Live Stunt Team as an integral component of the hugely popular Top Gear Live Shows that have wowed more than 1.2 million fans at venues all around the globe.
The daredevil team was the first to successfully complete a single loop-the-loop in an in-door arena but now is attempting to „do the double‟ for the first time in history.
“We’ve designed some pretty outlandish car stunts over the past four years from car bungees in Moscow‟s Red Square to jet propelled pushbikes, but this double loop the loop has the greatest chance of going wrong,” admitted Top Gear Live Creative Director, Rowland French. “We‟ve completed a single loop the loop as the climax to the
previous Carmageddon Tour more than 80 times, and you know barring any acts of God, the buggy will make it through. Adding the second loop, though, multiplies the danger by more than two and creates the very real possibility of the buggy falling out from the top of the second loop. There are absolutely no margins for error, which is probably why no one has ever been mad enough to try it before.”
The extreme stunt will be attempted in a specially converted buggy fitted with hand controls to lock out the accelerator pedal during the stunt as the extreme G-forces experienced would thrust the driver‟s foot onto the standard throttle and result in a near-certain crash. Speed is one of the critical factors and the dashboard is fitted a large light that switches from red to green when the buggy is travelling at precisely the required velocity to complete the loops. Meticulous calculations have revealed the thin line between success and failure: enter the loop 2mph too slowly and the buggy will fall out of the top of the loop; a small increase in speed results in extra G force and could cause him to black out.
“Absolutely everything has to be in perfect alignment from the suspension compression and precise steering angle to the exact speed of entry,” confirmed French. “If one element falls out of sync, there is no chance of the driver making the second loop. It is this split second nature of the stunt that allows so much to go wrong, and what terrifies me.”
For further information on the „Deadly 720‟ please contact Jonathan Gill or Shaynee Taylor in the Top Gear Live UK media office at MPA Creative on 01372 414120 or via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org. A wide selection of copyright-free photography will be available on request. Both broadcast and website quality film edits will also be available on request within hours of the stunt being successfully completed.
Top Gear Live
Offering a variation on more traditional motor shows Top Gear Live brings the spirit of the world famous BBC TV programme to the live events arena allowing fans to immerse themselves in their passion for Top Gear and motoring in general. Often starring the TV show‟s presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond and driving legend The Stig, Top Gear Live has entertained more than 1.2 million visitors in 17 worldwide cities. The latest Top Gear Live Festival in Durban will be the globetrotting event‟s biggest to date combining a street racing circuit plus live shows to a 15,000 crowd in the
Moses Mabhida Stadium. Compromised of Hollywood stunt drivers, acrobats, freerunners and other daredevils, the renowned Top Gear Live Stunt Team is an integral part of each live event and has performed numerous world firsts. Top Gear Live is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Brand Events.
About BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC‟s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products, Brands, Consumers & New Ventures and Magazines, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: bbcworldwide.com/annualreview.
Brand Events UK
Brand Events was formed in 1999 and is the UK‟s most successful innovator in events and exhibitions. Since then it has launched some of the UK‟s most popular consumer events including Top Gear Live, The Outdoors and Vitality shows and more recently the Taste Festivals series of events.