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Revving up for Top Gear action

Trevor Thorpe

Revving  up for Top Gear action

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Eleven thousand five hundred.
That will be the maximum number of people allowed into Bushy Park for the Top Gear Festival on May 17 and 18.
The disclosure was made by operations director of Bushy Park Circuit Inc. (BPCI), Mark Hamilton, as he spoke to the media on a recently-held guided tour of the facility to mark the start of surfacing of the track.
He said general admission would be limited to around 11 500 as Top Gear uses a calculation based on the square metres of the facility and “we are guided by that”.
“Given the cost of operating for those specific days, we would be happy with those types of numbers, but this investment is not quantified by the Top Gear Festival. It is a massive investment and the money generated by Top Gear could not put a dent in the money that is being spent, but it gives us a template going forward,” Hamilton added.
Adding that it was not a sales technique, he said those are the guidelines with which the developers had to work, but ticket sales were going well and urged Barbadians not to wait until the last moment to get their tickets.
“The Top Gear Festival gives us a litmus test and the opportunity for us to use our own knowledge and the Bajan abilities and wrap it with what they are bringing, based on their experience . . . . so it is learning on both sides and a template to move forward,” he said.
VIP and clubhouse tickets appear to be very attractive, but the goal, according to the operations director, is to have a living breathing facility which would make a meaningful contribution to Barbados.
“There may be issues coming out of this exercise that we may need to adjust or improve and we can transfer to local and or regional events that are held here, but it gives us a great opportunity to fine-tune and make things right and better for the future,” he added.
According to Hamilton, the residents of the area are happy with the development and excited that it is happening and are looking forward to the first race meet.
Surfacing of the track should be completed within two weeks and the facility is on schedule for the self-imposed deadline of the end of March.
Work on the pit building has started and will be completed for the Top Gear Festival while work on the catch fence and gravel traps are taking shape and will be ready by the appointed date, however, the clubhouse and the VIP facility will be makeshift for the May 17 and 18 event.
“Construction of the permanent clubhouse which would occupy the same spot as the former building would be dealt with after the Top Gear Festival,” Hamilton said.
Mercedes Formula I driver and 2008 Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, and the opening round of the Red Bull Rally Cross Championship are among the highlights of the two-day festival.