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The Top Gear team has made a bit of history at the Top Gear Festival in Durban, South Africa, as a stunt driver pulled off a double loop in front of a crowd of over 15,000. The event involved a 26-foot tall double loop track that looks to have come right out of a Hot Wheels box, except that it weighs over eight tons. The stunt vehicle of choice was a custom-made buggy with a throttle lock that could travel at a constant 24-26 mile per hour speed that the math geeks said was necessary for a successful "Deadly 720."

Scroll below to watch a nearly two-minute video that starts with cheering crowds and the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond and ends with the buggy stunt. We're thinking the best part of the video was the in-buggy view of the double loop.

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The history making Top Gear Live Stunt Team has set a new world record by becoming the first to complete a spectacular double loop-the-loop on four wheels. The ground-breaking feat – dubbed the Deadly 720 – was the amazing finale to the first of four Top Gear Festival shows staged in front of a sell-out 15,000+ live audience at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa (15-16 June).

Deadly 720 is the biggest, boldest and most technically challenging stunt yet performed by the record breaking Top Gear Live Stunt Team which also rewrote the history books when becoming the first daredevil outfit to complete a single loop-the-loop in an in-door arena.

"We've pulled off some pretty outrageous stunts in the past but this was by far the most audacious yet," admitted Top Gear Live Creative Director, Rowland French. "We were all holding our breaths as the buggy approached the first loop knowing that there were virtually no margins for error – not least as we'd tried this stunt three times pre-event practice and failed on all three attempts. The maths, though, said it was possible to twice defy gravity... but only if we got everything exactly right. Thankfully, we proved our meticulous calculations were right and, having successfully pulled off this crazy Deadly 720, we've now made some more history."

Staged in one of the venues that hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals to a wildly enthusiastic capacity crowd, the breathtaking stunt required pinpoint precision. "To avoid disaster, the buggy had to enter both back-to-back loops at exactly the right speed – too slow and there was the danger that it would have tumbled from the top; too fast and the driver could have blacked out as a result of the extra G-forces," explained French. "It really was one of those epic 'I was there' moments. The fans just went wild."

BBC Top Gear's three television presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond who were hosting the action-packed show in Durban also witnessed the precarious Deadly 720.
"It was quite remarkable," said Clarkson. "As anyone who has seen Top Gear either live or on TV will know, we are much more famous for mucking about and breaking other things like caravans – certainly not for breaking world records! I'm just glad no one asked me to do it... "
The jaw-dropping stunt featured two giant steel loops positioned just eight metres apart, which the specially prepared buggy had to complete in quick succession. Testing had revealed the extreme G forces involved would have forced the driver's foot to bury the throttle resulting in the buggy crashing on exit of the loop, so special hand controls were fitted to lock out the accelerator pedal. The buggy's dashboard was also fitted with a large shift light that went from red to green when speed was sufficient to complete the loops.

To defy gravity not once but twice, the buggy had to enter each loop at between 24mph and 26mph. Failing to achieve the minimum speed risked the buggy falling out at the top of the loop. Too much speed would have resulted in an extra G of force on the driver and could have caused him to black out. Moreover, the buggy needed to exit the first loop with sufficient velocity to enter the second loop at the prerequisite speed.

Top Gear Live will next be in action at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK from 25-28 October 2012. Ticket prices start from just £49* and can be booked via www.topgearlive.co.uk or by calling 0871 230 5588.

* Booking fee applies, calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      playing devils advocate...technically it's the Deadly 360 x 2? no small feat, but now time to attempt two 360s without a break of short flat ground.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why didn't the Stig do it??
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still want to see a high downforce car drive on the ceiling like the engineers say it can.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The stig should've done it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not that exciting if you ask me....
        • 3 Years Ago
        Kind of feeling the same way here...
        • 2 Years Ago
        yeah I was sadly dissapointed. I know it's amazing but I feel unimpressed.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      That video was about 4 times longer than necessary -- how did they convince thousands of people to come to a track to watch that? I sure hope admission was free.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        It's a live stadium show of Top Gear that runs over an hour. The 720 loop was just the finale to the show.
      Morgan Reale
      • 2 Years Ago
      Top Queer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Morgan Reale
        like you
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Morgan Reale
        I agree, freaking queers - making something out of nothing ,I have something lets race a jet against a car -- great idea queer .. anyone who disagrees is a freaking butt-pirate
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most exciting Sunday drive ever!
      Reece Lightning
      • 3 Years Ago
      i was kind of hoping by 720 they meant it'd be a continuous cork screw and not just two loops in a series, but its still impressive
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Reece Lightning
        Maybe where an outside section becomes in inside section like a mobius strip, performed in the weighlessness of space with superconductor magnets helping to keep the car from drifting into the sun. This was a kind of weak stunt. No doubt everyone went home and said, "I could do that in me Civic!"
      • 2 Years Ago
      it'd be cooler without the guardrails going the entire length of the track
      • 2 Years Ago
      Understand the 720 part; which part was deadly?
      • 2 Years Ago
        • 2 Years Ago
        Nice fine! Errr, that Foust setup looks quite a bit more epic than the Top Gear set.
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