Avid TopGear.commers will have noted a foolhardy boast appearing on the site earlier this week. During our Top Gear Live show in South Africa this weekend, we said, we're going to break a world record. Specifically, be the first people in the world, ever, to do a double loop the loop in a car.
Those familiar with the world of Top Gear no doubt assumed the whole thing would be a catastrophic failure, ending in smoke, fire and recrimination.
Remarkably, this wasn’t the case. In Durban today, in front of 15,000 people, we actually succeeded in a challenge. There’s a first time for everything…
Jeremy was suitably impressed: “It was quite remarkable. As anyone who has seen Top Gear either live or on TV will know, we are much more famous for mucking about and breaking other things like caravans – certainly not for breaking world records! I’m just glad no one asked me to do it… ”
“We’ve pulled off some pretty outrageous stunts in the past but this was by far the most audacious yet,” Top Gear Live’s Creative Director, Rowland French, said: “We were all holding our breaths as the buggy approached the first loop knowing that there were virtually no margins for error – not least as we’d tried this stunt three times pre-event practice and failed on all three attempts. The maths, though, said it was possible to twice defy gravity… but only if we got everything exactly right. Thankfully, we proved our meticulous calculations were right and, having successfully pulled off this crazy Deadly 720, we’ve now made some more history.”
Staged in one of the venues that hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals to a wildly enthusiastic capacity crowd, our stunt required pinpoint precision. To defy gravity not once but twice, the buggy had to enter each loop at between 24mph and 26mph. Too little speed and the buggy would fall out at the top of the loop, with fairly grim results. Too much speed would have resulted in an extra G of force on the driver and could have caused him to black out. Again, a fairly grim outcome.
Fortunately, none of this happened. As you can see below…