• May 19, 2008
Not quite. While we've gotten word from credible sources that El Toro has, in fact, been chosen as the location for the supposed filming of the U.S. version of Top Gear, the test track above ain't it. To begin with, the SCCA and a handful of other track-day organizations have been using the runways at El Toro for years, not to mention that Motor Trend performed it's infamous 3.2-second 0-60 sprint in the Nissan GT-R at the decommissioned Marine Corps aviation base.

Aside from those facts, just look at the layout. Compared to the course that Lotus engineers setup for the Stig, this makeshift circuit looks positively pedestrian. A few chicanes and some long sweepers does not a test track make, so until we see the Hammerhead and Follow Through, we're chalking up these rubber marks to weekend hoonage.

[Source: Final Gear via Jalopnik]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry to burst anyone's bubble - but this overhead imagery is way over a year old. The Great Park project and TierraVerde industries have completely changed the landscape of the base since then. This photo does not even show the Great Park Balloon or the TVI recycling/composting center which each have been around for almost a year (or more). Sooo... I have no idea whether they may have chosen the base as the location for the test track - but this image does NOT show that setup.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember seeing those marks there quite a while ago. There have been many gymkhana, autocross, and drifting events there that equal some serious hoonage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great. Have you found the Matrix overpass too?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am currently sitting across the street from the former MCAS El Toro and can verify what everyone else is saying. These are older photographs and the rubber laid down is from numerous different track events for different organizations. I have seen a lot of weekend Auto-X events there and also know that many manufacturers (GM, BMW etc.) test drive days have taken place there as well.

      I do know that Adam Carolla talked about going down to El Toro to do some driving on his radio show so they may have filmed some segments there however I doubt they are using it as their standard test track for all of the vehicles.

      Just my two coppers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seriously? You're actually posting this on a AutoBlog? Whoever wrote this post obviously have no concept of what it takes to make a test track. There has been no indication of who will be making the test track, as Lotus isn't the only tuner worth their grain in the world. I would even venture to say that the people who have been making auto-cross courses at El Toro have as much experience in setting up courses as a company like Lotus. They have to setup dozens f course a year and challenge every car out there. You're seriously going to post on a reputable blog that SCCA/NASA/BMW CCA/etc. safety and course designers can't put together a reasonable test track for an American Top Gear?

      Get your heads out of your butt and wake up. The English aren't the only people who can do motor sports. I hope that for the sake of your readers you post a reasonable retraction or adjustment of the post to reflect your OBVIOUS bias, for whatever reason.

      Randall Prince
      easyautosales.com
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was with you 100% up until you included a stupid URL in your post...
        • 6 Years Ago
        So, because I have a car site my comment is automatically discounted? I stand behind my comment and you know that I have a valid point. If you're going to discount me just because I have my own site, like a lack of car site somehow makes the comment legitimate, you need to grow up.

        Randall Prince
        EasyAutoSales.com
        • 6 Years Ago
        "So, because I have a car site my comment is automatically discounted?"

        Yes. Exactly.

        Not to mention it is the last thing you read before you fill in your comment info:

        "Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments."

        So as a spammer you're automatically on my list of worthless commenters. Valid points or not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Randall, no one is hating on the fact that you have your own site. It's the shameless plugging that bothers people. Frankly, no one gives a crap about your site or what it has to offer.

        I'm sure many of us agree with your point, but that URL just makes us like you less :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to mention you discredit the poster within the first sentence.

        If you have a valid point to make, then make it.

        You don't reinforce your point by discrediting others' work.

        "Seriously? You're actually posting this on a AutoBlog? Whoever wrote this post obviously have no concept of what it takes to make a test track."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Go away. You are not here to sell cars
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr. Prince:

        Hold on there.

        As a member of the SCCA, NASA, BMWCCA and a guy who spent eight years teaching advanced driver's education, let me make it clear that I have nothing against any of the aforementioned groups, nor do I have any bias towards Lotus (although an Elise purchase is on my bucketlist). My reference to the track layout wasn't a slight towards the designers or the crew that sets them up, it was merely an observation that the TG test track was specifically designed to ferret out any weaknesses in a production car. The tire marks produced on the track above are obviously for something else (best guess is a drifting), and it's likely that Gear would use a different layout. Hope that clears up any confusion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Damon:

      Thanks for the clarification. Myself, as with many other readers, interpreted what you said with a certain confusion as though whatever track was made there wouldn't be anything worthwhile. I'm glad to read what you wrote, though. I've been with a number of the larger region SCCA/BMW CCA groups who have vast experience in setting up courses to test all levels of cars of all preparedness, and I'm sure whatever course is setup at El Toro will be the same. Though I do question some of the tracks that are used on shows like "Setup", I'm sure that when we see the track we'll be able to give it the thumbs up or thumbs down, but until then, as with the show in general, we won't really know what to expect. Thanks for the response!

      Randall Prince
      EasyAutoSales.com
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow...this guy still posts his website? shame on you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is that the El Toro military base near LA. If so that's the base Will Smith was stationed to in ID4. Kinda funny.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Haha, thank God I'm not the only one who thought that.
        Justin
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, I thought the aliens destroyed El Toro back in '96?



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