Successfully piloting an automobile around a giant loop is no easy task, but it's just not spectacular enough for the crew of Top Gear Live. Billing it as a world-first event, the live show's stunt drivers will attempt to spin their way through a giant loop twice in succession during the Top Gear Festival in Durban, South Africa on June 16 and 17.

Dubbed the Deadly 720, the loops themselves stands 26 feet tall and weigh eight tons. A custom-made buggy featuring an accelerator lock that allows the driver to put all his concentration on navigation will enter the loop between 24 and 26 miles per hour. Any deviation from that predetermined speed will result in a failure by the event's calculations.

"There are absolutely no margins for error, which is probably why no one has ever been mad enough to try it before," says Top Gear Live Creative Director Rowland French. Read all about the planned stunt by scrolling down below.
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DEADLY 720: THE FACTS...
-- Deadly 720 is the World's first double loop the loop stunt and will be attempted by the Top Gear Live Stunt Team during the Top Gear Festival staged in Durban, South Africa on 16-17 June.

-- The two loops are each 8 metres tall and comprise of 8 tons of steelwork (16 tons in total).
If you uncurled both loops, the total length of track would be 58 metres.

28 tons of ballast weight is used to prevent the loops from moving during the stunt.
The buggy is fitted with special hand controls to lock out the accelerator pedal during the stunt as, during testing, the extreme G forces involved forced the driver's foot to bury the throttle and resulted in the buggy crashing on exit of the loop.

-- The dashboard is fitted with a large shift light that goes from red to green when the buggy is at sufficient speed to complete the loop. If you think that takes the fun out of it, think again; with only a 30m run up the shift light will be changing to green a mere five metres before going vertical – not a lot of time to jump on the brakes and abort.

-- The buggy must enter each loop between 24 and 26mph to successfully complete the stunt. Failing to achieve the minimum 24mph risks the buggy falling out at the top of the loop. An increase of speed from 26mph will result in an extra G of force on the driver and could cause him to black out.

-- The buggy must exit the first loop with sufficient speed to enter the second loop at the prerequisite speed, a challenge that's far easier said than done. The buggy needs a minimum 30 metre run up to gain enough speed to complete the first loop but only has 8 metres between the two loops to regain the few mph lost during the first 360.

Entering the loop has been likened to hitting a flat wall at speed as it takes less than a second for the buggy to go vertical.

-- Suspension is everything: if the car bottoms out during either loop its chassis will grind the steel floor and swipe off vital MPH just when the driver needs it most. This is well known because the team destroyed two buggies due to suspension issues when testing the single loop in 2009.

-- As the team was so concerned regarding the potential dangers when first designing the single loop in 2009 the engineers created a full size, remote control buggy that could be sent through the loop – and potentially fail – without injuring a driver. Only once it had successfully completed a number of loops was a real driver allowed behind the controls.

The awe-inspiring Top Gear Live Stunt Team is taking another deep breath and is aiming for a further World Record when it 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 before and will be staged in front of record 15,000 strong live audiences during four action-packed shows at this weekend's Top Gear Festival in the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa (16-17 June).

The Deadly 720 is the latest in a succession of daring exploits performed by the Top Gear Live Stunt Team as an integral component of the hugely popular Top Gear Live Shows that have wowed more than 1.2 million fans at venues all around the globe.

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

"We've designed some pretty outlandish car stunts over the past four years from car bungees in Moscow's Red Square to jet propelled pushbikes, but this double loop the loop has the greatest chance of going wrong," admitted Top Gear Live Creative Director, Rowland French. "We've completed a single loop the loop 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. There are absolutely no margins for error, which is probably why no one has ever been mad enough to try it before."

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 experienced would thrust the driver's foot onto the standard throttle and result in a near-certain crash. Speed is one of the critical factors and the dashboard is fitted a large light that switches from red to green when the buggy is travelling at precisely the required velocity to complete the loops. Meticulous calculations have revealed the thin line between success and failure: enter the loop 2mph too slowly and the buggy will fall out of the top of the loop; a small increase in speed results in extra G force and could cause him to black out.

"Absolutely everything has to be in perfect alignment from the suspension compression and precise steering angle to the exact speed of entry," confirmed French. "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 me."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      Buckingham's
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoever dreamed up this stunt is loopy.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Buckingham's
        [blocked]
      ericburr4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Top Gear's UK rival Fifth Gear did a single loop on their show.
      you knucklehead
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who's Driving??
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      So basically just engage cruise control at a mind numbing 25 MPH and follow the white line through a loop with curbs on each side that keep you from being able to fall off. From the looks of it, you could strap a chimp in the drivers seats and have him complete the "deadly 720" double loop with little difficulty.
        creamwobbly
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Exactly what I was thinking. Well, I was veering more toward getting Google or Volvo to do it, rather than a chimp. But then I agree: a politician *could* do it.
          kvh32055
          • 2 Years Ago
          @creamwobbly
          Put a hooker at the finish line and Bill Clinton will volunteer to drive!
      bleexeo
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Loop the loop"? Who says that other than 5 year olds? Just call it a loop or double loop and be done with it.
      mnoswad1
      • 2 Years Ago
      An "accelerator lock" is not going to work. As the buggy travels up the loop it will loose speed quickly unless the throttle is increased to overcome gravity. If the speed needs to be a constant mph.....a true cruise control system will need to be used that can modulate the throttle as needed to maintain a constant speed.......just like we all do when maintaining a constant speed up and down hills.
      speddedler
      • 2 Years Ago
      I may just be a simple country engineer, but would it make more sense for the 2nd loop to go back the other way so the driver can bail more easily in between loops?
      XEVIOUS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Uh, least we all forget, ringling bros, circus has been doing those kinda stunts for years.
      Big Rocket
      • 2 Years Ago
      When is a double loop not a double loop? When there is a straight section separating the 2 loops. Take a screw, cut out a segment that contains 2 threads, and that would be what a true double loop looks like: a continuous helical curvature.
      JayP
      • 2 Years Ago
      25mph? Is that right? Blacking out at the G's pulled? Like 2G maybe? Numbers aren't adding up. Maybe it's the new math?
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JayP
        Assuming it's 25mph throughout the entire loop, that works out to be an average of about 3.2G draining the blood from the head to the torso. Remember, g force in a car is usually of the side to side variety, not vertical. Fighter pilots experience near 10 G vertically (due to banking during maneuvers), but they have special suits that prevent blood from pooling at one part of their body. Also consider that while 3.2G is the average amount, due to gravity, the G force draining blood from the head would be 2.2G at the top and 4.2G at the bottom of the loop.
          Big Rocket
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          @k_m94: People don't wear special suits on roller coasters, and there are roller coasters pulling more G force than what you calculated. This Top Gear stunt is decidedly underwhelming. http://www.coaster-net.com/ride-gallery/125-afterburn/ "With an incredible force of 4.8 g's that even the most seasoned pilots would appreciate, the train plows..."
        cadillacfleetwood75
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JayP
        They must have been using top gear maths.
      rkeeeballs
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here we go 'round in circles.......here we fly high like a bird in the sky.......sorry..
      Lynne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Article forgot to say Joe Roagan will be the commentator, Fear Factor style. LOL
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