Top Gear Festival 2014

Top Gear Festival Barbados 2014

Top Gear Barbados… Where do I start… Can you imagine that the internationally renowned Top Gear production chose to come to the itty bitty little island of Barbados? It blows my mind what incredible events find their way to our island home.

For months there was lots of hype. Lots of speculation about who was coming, which drivers, which cars and who was going to the Event on Saturday, on Sunday or both days.

As most things in my life, we left the purchasing of tickets too late, when we tried to buy tickets to our chagrin all the Club House were all sold out. There was much disappointment in our house and lots of debate about what to do next. Well determined not to miss the event we dug deep and purchased tickets to the VIP tent.

Our tickets were for the Sunday. So much excitement blazed in our house as we got ready to set off. We worried about parking, the lines, the seating etc. We wasted our time on those worries, the event was amazingly run. The VIP parking was a breeze and it was a short walk to the security lines where bags check and wristbands applied. The tangible excitement was in the air. It was so easy.

We entered the enormous VIP tent which was decked out in red and black decorations. Stunning. To welcome you were trestle tables laden with coffee, tea and Bajan delicacies like jam puffs. Everything was so professional looking it was hard to believe you were in a temporary structure in the middle of a race track. Wow!

At 10.00 on the dot, the event started with a bang with the light-hearted witty and commentary by Jeremy Clarkson and friends. During this commentary, we learned that over $160,000,000 BBD worth of cars would be strutted around the track today.

The first event on the program was a drifting competition between two foreign cars with overseas drivers and two local cars with Barbadian drivers. What a great start with lots of wheels squealing and the smell of burning rubber filled the air. The crowds went wild screaming and shouting for the Bajan team as the teams drifted around the track in perfect unison.

The day was filled with many fun-filled events. Each event was extremely different from the other. We had the race between Lewis Hamilton’s 2013 F1 Mercedes Benz Machine versus Ken Blocks Global RallyCross Fiesta.

The loud high pitch squeal of the F1 car versus the growling ferocious sounding GRC Fiesta. What a race with Ken Block flying through the air over the jump while Hamilton flew around the track at full speed. It was an amazing race but the super speed Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton pulled out in front and won the race amidst screaming spectators.

The highlight of the day was the Red Bull Global Rallycross races. The sound and speed of these cars made my heart speed up as ten cars flew around the track six times. In the race, every car must jump five out of the six laps. Amazing to watch two cars flying through the air off the jump simultaneously.

These races were repeated four times to determine which cars would get the coveted space in the final. The crowd went wild and there is now talk to add Rallycross racing events to the Motor Sports in Barbados. We will have to wait and see if this dream comes true.

The competition was fierce between drivers like Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Scott Speed and many more. The crowds were wild with anticipation when the final race started and the drama got greater as in the first lap Ken Blocks’ wheel caught a road barrier and sent him flying through the air, slamming him into a concrete barrier, flipping the car upside down with the car bursting into flames momentarily. The crowd went into a deadly silence as everyone watched mesmerized to see the fate of Ken Block.

The rescue crew was there in an instant and miraculously Ken Block emerged from the wrecked car unscathed:- a true testimony to the safety measures the cars are built with.

My favorite event of the day was the game of Car Football. This was played in two teams of three cars. These cars are specially designed three-wheeled cars that topple over very easily. It was amazing that these drivers could actually get the very large soccer ball through the goal posts. Barbados won!!

It was a wonderful day. Everyone headed home sunburnt, exhilarated, tired, excited and planning to attend the event again next year.

The Barbadian organizers should all give themselves a pat on the back as they did an amazing job of getting the track organized, the Club House built, the event planned and everything seemed to run on well-oiled wheels.

Top Gear 2015 I will be there. I going to buy my tickets early…will I see you there?

See Photos of Top Gear Festival Barbados 2014

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About Totally Barbados (Edit profile)

Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.