The lads did indeed deliver on this promise with their magnificent stadium show, and while the show in itself could fill the word count of this story it is not what blew me away the most.
The festival once again partnered with Shell V-Power and I felt that it was indeed Shell who had their finger on the motoring pulse.
“Last year was the first time Top Gear Festival was held in Durban and it was enthusiastically embraced by locals and visitors alike. We expect to see visitor numbers grow this year and we want to make sure that their experience brings them back year after year,” said Debbie Foley, Shell Retail Marketing Manager.
Those who attended last years festival may remember the popular Shell stand in which fans could race scalextrics, or attempt to change an F1 style tyre.
Just the queue alone last year was enough to say it was a hit, and Shell took notice. This year’s stand was bigger and better with many of the favourite activities from last year as well as the presence of the mind blowing Cruden’s Simulator.
The simulator is currently used by Formula 1 teams to provide the most realistic and accurate motorsport experience available. A handful of lucky festival goers who qualified on other challenges got to test their racing skills on the simulator, which left many shaken, not stirred.
Other Shell stands included an innovative photo booth in which fans could strike a triumph pose as they traded lives with Alonso, for a split second, as well as the ever popular stunt school.
The presence of these interactive stands is what the festival should be about, in my humble opinion at any rate, fans come to the festival wanting a taste of Top Gear, to share in the excitement and gain a glimpse into the world’s greatest job.
While the festival delivered on many levels I felt other exhibitors may have missed the mark slightly and instead chose to target the festival as a standard sales pitch. My ultimate festival would therefore involve something alone the lines of recreating the Top Gear art gallery seen in the show, or a display of challenge cars used through the various seasons.
Having said that this dream is not that far off if other exhibitors and sponsors take a page from Shell and start to engage with fans in an interactive fashion. I look forward to more exciting developments from Shell this year.