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Top Gear's Deadly 720 in SA

2012-06-12 09:02

TACKLING THE DEADLY 720: Bikes in a cage, racing lawnmowers... the Deadly 720 is the latest in a succession of daring exploits performed by the Top Gear team.

The Top Gear Live stunt team will be aiming for another World Record the group 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 but will be staged in front of 15 000 spectators during the 2012 Top Gear Festival to be held in Durban this weekend (June 16/17).

The daredevil team was the first to successfully complete a single loop-the-loop in an in-door arena but now is attempting to perform a double for the first time.


Top Gear Live creative director, Rowland French, said: “We’ve designed some pretty outlandish car stunts over the past four years from car bungees in Moscow’s Red Square to jet-propelled bicycles, but this double loop-the-loop has the greatest chance of going wrong.

“We completed a single 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."

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 would thrust the driver’s foot on to the standard throttle and result in a crash.

Speed is one of the critical factors - enter 3.2km/h too slowly and the buggy will fall at top of the loop. Go too fast and the extra G-force could cause the driver to black out.


French said: "There is absolutely no margin for error, which is probably why nobody has been mad enough to try it.”

“Absolutely everything has to be in perfect alignment from the suspension compression and precise steering angle to the exact speed of entry.

"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," he said. 

The Top Gear Festival will be held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban over June 16/17.

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