Top Gear Live 2012: The Final Countdown

Thank you to all that entered our Top Gear Competition, the event starts today for the lucky winners!

The ‘biggest and boldest’ Top Gear Live is set to break all previous records with unprecedented advanced ticket sales, a sensational line-up of showbiz and sporting stars plus a thrilling new World Record attempt.

Hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May together with driving legend The Stig, this year’s event is being staged at Birmingham’s NEC and takes place from Thursday 25 October through to Sunday 28 October.

Top Gear Live features not one but three major attractions: the dramatic Arena Show; the action-packed live Track Performance and fantastic exhibition including the ‘World of Top Gear’.

Featuring the incredible Top Gear Live Stunt drivers, the world’s most beautiful cars and some outrageous challenges, the Arena Show brings the spirit of the TV programme to life and is fronted by Clarkson, Hammond and May. While the indomitable trio will be doing what they do best in fronting the nine Arena Shows over the four days, the show’s tame racing driver, The Stig, will be performing Power Laps in the Track Performance. And The Stig will be joined by a host of stars in Top Gear’s ‘reasonably priced car’ including two of Team GB’s Olympic medallists: Anthony Joshua and Max Whitlock.

Running alongside the Arena and Track activities is the Top Gear Live Exhibition – an interactive automotive showcase like no other with vehicle manufacturer displays, gear and gadgets plus a host of props from the Top Gear studio as well as some of the most famous cars to have appeared on the show.

Top Gear addicts suffering withdrawal symptoms as they await the TV show’s return in January will get a much needed fix of Clarkson, Hammond, May and The Stig in a spectacular new Arena Show complete with an amazing line-up of incredible stunts, amazing supercars, wacky challenges and fiery explosions plus a new, breathtaking Deadly 720+ double loop-the-loop World Record attempt. Top Gear Live visitors will witness a unique and timely tribute to 50 years of James Bond featuring Aston Martins with the simultaneous launch of the new 007 film Skyfall; Clarkson will be taking on The Stig with help from the armed forces and there’s a never before attempted game of motorised sidecar polo which will inevitably, and repeatedly, end in disaster. The Arena Show will also celebrate ten years of Top Gear as the first episode of the programme in its current super successful format was screened on BBC2 in October 2002.

The fearless Top Gear Live Stunt Team is aiming to establish yet another astonishing World Record by completing the first double loop-the-loop on a motorbike at Top Gear Live. In Durban, South Africa this summer the daredevil team were the first to complete a double loop-the-loop in a car with its dramatic ‘Deadly 720’ stunt which has been officially recognised as the ‘First Double Loop by a Car’ by Guinness World Records. It appears, though, that the Top Gear Live Stunt Team were saving the best for their home crowd as British fans will be the first to witness the even more technically challenging and daunting Deadly 720+. The stunt first will be attempted during Thursday afternoon’s opening Arena Show and then again at the eight following live performances. Those  not at the NEC can follow the Deadly 720+ as it unfolds via the @BBC_TopGear Twiiter page.

A series of epic ‘Grudge Matches’ will provide fans with some memorable edge-of-the-seat entertainment as cars compete head-to-head at the NEC. The Grudge Match action takes place on a widened in-door track and forms an integral part of the thrilling Track Performance hosted by former Top Gear presenters Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson. Other highlights of the Track Performance are power laps by The Stig in supercars, sporting and showbiz personalities competing in a live version of a ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ (see below), a special half-car race plus an elimination race between a grid of two-third scale NASCAR racers where the last car across the finishing line the at the end of every lap is knocked out until there’s only one winner left standing.

A stellar line-up of sporting and showbiz celebrities will be jumping behind the wheel of Top Gear’s famous Kia Cee’d hatchback to contest a live version of ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’. The glittering line-up of famous faces is topped by two members of Team GB from this summer’s Olympic Games: boxing gold medallist Anthony Joshua (Friday 12:15pm) and Max Whitlock (Sunday 12:15pm), a member of the first men’s British gymnastics team to win an Olympic medal in 100 years. Each of the nine action-packed Track Performance shows will feature a star competing against the clock with their individual lap times added to an overall leader board. The other six competing against the three Olympians are Ortis Deley (Thursday 12:15pm) from the Gadget Show, multiple swimming champion Mark Foster (Saturday 12:15pm), celebrity chef Paul Hollywood (Sunday 3:45pm), Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon (Thursday 3:45pm), broadcaster Johnny Vaughan (Saturday 3:45pm) and comedian Johnny Vegas (Saturday 7:15pm).

A mouth-watering collection of the world’s fastest and most dramatic supercars are on pole position at Top Gear Live. Heading the grid are no fewer than four members of the very rare and exclusive 225+mph club topped by the phenomenal Bugatti Veyron. The Super Sport version of the mighty 8-litre, W16-engined Veyron is officially the world’s fastest production car with a top speed of 263mph. Lining up alongside the Bugatti is the equally dynamic SSC Ultimate Aero – according to Guinness World Records it was the fastest car on Earth from March 2007 to July 2010. Despite its 245mph maximum, the Swedish built Koenigsegg CCX will be the third fastest hypercar on display at Top Gear Live ahead of the equally amazing 225mph Gumpert Apollo.

Having taken the Internet by storm, Ken Block is gearing up to thrill crowds at Top Gear Live. The Californian extreme sportsman who has wowed more than 200 million YouTube viewers with his spectacular stunt-filled Gymkhana viral videos will be bringing his madcap motoring movies to life during both of Thursday’s action-packed Track Performances. It’s rare UK performance from the legendary Block and his Monster World Rally Team and fans can still expect a memorable display of car control as the American hero unleashes his souped-up Ford Fiesta rally car and delivers an amazing series of dramatic tyre trashing drifts and donuts.

As well as enjoying the two live shows, all visitors are given a rare insight into the World of Top Gear. The interactive exhibition includes a replica Top Gear studio complete with green leather sofa giving fans a chance to be photographed in Clarkson’s seat. There’s also the famous Cool Wall as well as many of the daftest cars on show from previous Top Gear Challenges. Adding to the entertainment are a host of display stands featuring a mouth-watering array on new and exciting models. Citroen is giving its latest DS3 Cabrio its UK premiere at Top Gear Live alongside a special display of its FIA World Rally Championship winning competition cars. Aston Martin is showcasing its latest range-topping Vanquish, too, while several of the front-running speedsters from the UK’s top motor racing series, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Championship, are also on show together with newly crowned 2012 champion Gordon Shedden who (on Saturday afternnon) will be making one of his first public appearances since capturing the crown at Brands Hatch last weekend. As an added bonus, visitors to Top Gear Live will be given the exclusive opportunity to be among the first to play the new ‘Forza Horizon’ racing game before it hits the shelves on 26 October.

A special ‘Behind the Scenes of Top Gear Live’ feature showcasing a host of star cars and props from previous live shows is open to all VIP, Platinum and Gold tickets holders. These premium tickets also offer a host of other advantages and upgrades including ‘Best in House’ seats for Arena and Track shows. Privileged VIP ticket holders also have access to theInfiniti  VIP Lounge where suitably indulgent hospitality includes a two-course buffet meal plus  beer, wine and soft drinks.

Although selected seats for some shows are now completely sold out, tickets are still available from the official website or by calling 0871 230 5588. Advance booking is open until 6pm on the night before attendance with adult admission prices start from just £49* – tickets will also be available on the day at the NEC. With many schools on half-term at the end of October, a ‘Kids Go Free’ promotion is available for accompanied children (aged between 5 and 15 years old) on Thursday and Friday, while special ‘Family Tickets’ are on offer for both Saturday and Sunday. Full details of all Top Gear Live tickets can be found on the website.