The all-new Top Gear Festival Durban Street Circuit plays host this year to one of Motorsport’s coolest formats – Time Attack. The Time Attack Invitational is another of the mototainment spectaculars that will electrify the Street Circuit when Top Gear Festival is staged at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and surrounding precinct on June 21st and 22nd this year.
What makes the Time Attack format so unique is that cars and their drivers compete against the clock, and ultimately against each other, without ever going door to door on the track. Spectator excitement is guaranteed from watching the timing screens as a driver pushes ten tenths to set the ultimate lap, meaning there is no margin for error. It’s this one lap and all or nothing approach that has seen this format of racing become massively popular all over the world.
Local Content Manager for Top Gear Festival Durban, Marius Roberts says: “Drivers need to be very precise as there is no margin for error – the slightest mistake costs you on the stopwatch. It really requires intense focus as each run is like a super stage or the ultimate qualifying lap – it’s a real adrenalin rollercoaster for driver & spectator”
By adding the Time Attack to this year’s already impressive list of street circuit content, South Africa can truly boast that it has its finger on the pulse of international motorsport trends – following in the footsteps of events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Pikes Peak and our own local benchmark, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb. The great news for spectators is that the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb Top 3 will continue their battle for dominance on the Top Gear Street Circuit in this year’s inaugural Time Attack Invitational.
Even though the actual format may change from one Time Attack event to the next, the one thing that doesn’t change is the incredible line up of spec built, insanely modified road and racecars. Depending on the layout of the course and track conditions, it’s a constant juggling act for drivers to get that balance between raw power and handling just right.
What makes this Time Attack Invitational so special, other than the fact that it takes place on the custom-built Top Gear Festival Street Circuit, is that, in true Top Gear style, the Festival has attracted 30 of South Africa’s fastest Time Attack drivers and cars to participate. Also the rules of engagement have changed, the format will put no restrictions on power or tyres and there are no classes – making this a straight shoot out to the line. Competitors get 4 runs on Saturday – one sighting run, two timed runs and a final timed elimination run which sees us reducing the field from 30 down to 20. The Top 20 will be given two timed runs in the elimination round – and BOTH will count, so the fastest combined times will see the selection of the Top 10. The finals will see the Top 10 getting two timed runs with the single fastest time counting. Winners will be announced on track.
Confirmed entrants for this year’s Time Attack Invitational include:
The Gutzeit Family, namely Des and Jade who are Hill Climb and Time Attack specialists and can be seen battling it out at events nationwide. Des has built a very special, heavily modified R32 Skyline especially for Hill climb type of events – it produces more than 1000hp, which is just insane! Jade’s famous Top Secret Skyline is no more, having blown its motor at a Time Attack event last year but he is back with a modified Mitsubishi Evo 7 – a car which is lighter and more nimble than the Skylines, so should be well suited to the Top Gear Street Circuit.
Family battles continue with the Giannoccaro family, Ricky, Jimmy and Gianni, will be putting a variety of vehicles to the test over the Top Gear Festival weekend. The Giannoccaro family are more familiar with circuit racing, so Time Attack is a relatively new challenge for them and one that they are looking forward to – makes for interesting family dinners!
Another racer to watch, from a renowned racing family is Jaki Scheckter – son of Ian & nephew of Jody, who is always up at the top of the time sheets at the Simola Hillclimb. With his years of racing experience, especially on street circuits in the USA, this layout is right up his alley. Jaki will be driving Greg Parton’s Nissan GTR R35.
Vying for the trophy will be Anton Cronje in his super fast Subaru. Anton won the inaugural Dezzi Raceway Time Attack Invitational last year and should give everyone a good run for their money! But probably coming into the event as favourite after his impressive Jaguar Simola Hillclimb debut, is Franco Scribante in his Chevron B19. Franco won both Classic Car Friday & King of the Hill, as well as smashing the existing Hillclimb. What makes the win even more special is that the 1971 Chevron is an original championship winning car driven by Paddy Driver & now winning again with Franco behind the wheel.
The impressive list of drivers and cars continues with:
Driver: Andrew Strike
Vehicle: Nissan Skyline R32
Driver: Willie De Beer
Vehicle: Porsche GT2
Driver: Rui Campos
Vehicle: Porsche 911 RSR
Driver: Darron Gudmanz
Vehicle: Nissan Skyline GTR R35
Driver: Wade van Ziemeran
Vehicle: Nissan Skyline R34
Driver: Farouk Dangor
Vehicle: Nissan R34 GTR
Driver: Mohammed Dangor
Vehicle: BMW E30 M3
Driver: Greg Parton
Vehicle: KTM X-bow (race car)
Driver: Stuart Kidgell
Vehicle: Ferrari 599
Driver: Thouca Mechanicos
Vehicle: Mercedez Benz C55
The ultimate goal of these drivers is to make it to the top of the infamous Top Gear Festival leader board and to claim the glory of setting the 2014 Street Circuit’s fastest lap time. The battle promises to be hugely entertaining as the wide variety of cars – from R32 and R34 Skylines, GTR’s, Porsche’s, Evo’s, Subaru’s and race cars take to Top Gear’s Street Circuit – it is certainly yet another of the festival’s highlights that is not to be missed.
Visitors are encouraged to check the street circuit schedule to ensure that this mind-blowing motoring performance is not missed. For schedules, updates and information, the Top Gear Festival App can now be downloaded by going to the App store on ones mobile device and searching Durban Festival Guide – it’s free and will make sure that visitors get the most out of their Top Gear Festival visit.
For more information and updates on fun festival activities, stay tuned to the Top Gear Festival website, www.topgearfestivaldurban.co.za
Festivalgoers can expect a day packed full of entertainment both on and off the track as this year’s Top Gear Festival Durban in ‘the warmest place to be’ offers a true celebration of all things motoring. Visitors are encouraged to book early to avoid missing out on the most exciting event on this year’s entertainment and motoring calendar.
Visitors with Grandstand tickets are required to attend their respective Street Circuit Shows at either 9h30or 13h30 on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June, and organisers encourage arriving early so as not to miss out. Grandstand seats are included in the SuperSport Elite and Superior Ticket Packages and are available for sale now for those with Standard and Basic tickets at R200 per person via the all new festival website. For more information on ticket prices or to book visit www.topgearfestivaldurban.co.za
TWITTER HANDLE: @topgearfestSA
FACEBOOK: Top Gear Festival South Africa