Congratulations to Ellie Barnes, Anne Southam, Bob Doyle and Samuel Sullivan -- the winners of our Top Gear Festival family passes worth $180 each. There were some great reasons given by everybody for why they wanted to attend Top Gear Festival, but in the end the judges narrowed it down to these.
Samuel Sullivan: My wife needs to wake up and realise what she's missing out on! Samuel, we're all for marriage development and we hope she enjoys it.
Ellie Barnes: Because I need my brother-in-law to paint my entire house and this seems like suitable payment. Ellie, start choosing the paint.
Anne Southan: To promote ecstatic car love bonding in our dysfunctional nuclear family. My husband's lost his job and we have sod all money. Anne, we hope this brightens up the weekend for you all.
Bob Doyle: As my family has helped me through illness for the past 3 1/2 months, it would be a great way to say thank you. Bob, we can think of no better way to say thank you.
The winners will each recieve a family pass for two adults and two children (aged 4-12) valued at $180 each.
Jeremy Clarkson and James May have helped transform the world's view of motor sport with their highly successful television franchise Top Gear.
Together with Richard Hammond, Clarkson and May have become household names thanks to their witty and yet incisive look at all things motor sport. And now it's Australia's turn to enjoy the next incarnation of Top Gear when the first-ever Top Gear Festival Sydney hits Sydney Motorsport Park on March 9 and 10.
Top Gear Festival Sydney is proudly supported by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, and it is a key event on the NSW Events Calendar. Australia is only the second country in the world to host a Top Gear Festival, and the event is exclusive to Sydney, Australia's major events capital.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said staging a race where Casey Stoner returns to a bike at Top Gear Festival Sydney is a real coup for NSW and fans of the sport.
"Top Gear Festival Sydney is attracting the biggest and best names in motoring to its schedule and I am delighted attendees from NSW, interstate and oversees will now have the chance to see Casey Stoner on a bike again," Mr Souris said.
"I encourage everyone to visit Sydney Motorsport Park during Top Gear Festival Sydney to experience some once-in-a-lifetime motoring events, live and only in Sydney."
Top Gear Festival Sydney will see Clarkson in a man v machine race against Olympic Gold Medallist Sally Pearson and 12-year-old star in the making James Gallaugher in a 100m sprint, while May will attempt to speed up the Express Postal service in the Postie Bike Challenge.
And Top Gear's The Stig will be doing Powerlaps, brought to you by Alienware, in some of the rarest supercars the country has ever seen.
Alongside the opening round of 2013 racing for the Touring Car Masters series featuring John Bowe and Jim Richards, and Radical Australia Cup, festival-goers will see if a man can jump a Lamborghini at 100kph, and can drool over deux Ex Machina's parades of iconic bikes.
If that's not enough the Festival is running myPlates Star in a Reasonably Priced Car challenge each day on the technical 1.8km myPlates South Circuit.
Australian Socceroo Brett Emerton, Olympic Gold Medallist Steve Hooker, cricketing legend and TV personality Michael Slater, Channel 9 reporters Roz Kelly and Emma Freedman are just a few of the celebrities who will test their limits behind the wheel of a Lexus CT200h.
If it's got wheels and an engine The Festival will be pitching it into battles on track. Former F1 World Champion Alan Jones will be setting his 1980 Williams F1 car against Bathurst legend Colin Bond in Alan Moffat's 1977 Ford Falcon.
Jamie Whincup will be taking on aerobatic pilot Matt Hall to settle which is faster round the track in the Car v Plane Race. Sixteen of Australia's finest drifters will also take to the myPlates South Circuit in the Just Cars Drifting sessions to tear it up and show the true extremes of drifting, led by Beau Yates, Luke Fink and Rob Whyte.
Within the Motoring Village and Marque Park, visitors can browse the most interactive and diverse exhibition the automotive industry has got to offer, full of supercars, experiences, merchandise and accessories.
Those festival goers after a VIP experience should consider the Pit Roof Club at $199, offering outdoor barbecues and private bars with a sundowner music session from DJ Vogue, or the ultimate Superfan Suite at $399 with day long food and beverages and an exclusive interview stage.
Also, for general admission ticket holders, there's a wide range of delicious food and drink experiences, including cider gardens, all combining to create an unmissable weekend of entertainment. The Festival is open from 8am until 6pm each day, and Festival actions is broadcast accross eight big screens throughout the Park,
ALL THE VITAL INFORMATION
WHAT: Top Gear Festival Sydney 2013
WHERE: Sydney Motorsport Park, Ferrers Rd. Eastern Creek
WHEN: Saturday March 9 and Sunday March 10.
TICKETS Tickets start from just $29 for a child's General Admission, and $79 for an adult's General Admission.
Discounted Family General Admission Packages are also available and start at $180 for two adults and two children (4-12 years). VIP packages start from $199.
Tickets are available from Ticketek on 132849 or log on to www.ticketek.com.au
Off track just as good as on track
HERE is a glimpse at some of the amazing off-track experiences available during the Festival.
ON-SITE OFF ROAD CHALLENGE: Land Rover will give visitors the chance to have white knuckle ride experiences, and the Tuff Truck Challenge will be showcasing some of their extreme off road vehicles on the rugged course.
YOKOHAMA STUNTS & JUMPS ZONE (above): Featuring extreme stunt rider Matt Mingay with Stunz Inc, Showtime FMX, Jack Field and the Flair Action Riders, along with Team D-Max offering two wheeling rides in Isuzu Utes and Stunt Driving School.
RALLY AUSTRALIA ZONE: Australian Rally Championship will showcase some of the country's finest driving talent behind the wheel of Polaris and Can-Am vehicles across a custom-built rally course. Rally School will also conduct dirt clouded ride sessions.
STIG'S SUPERCAR GARAGE & MARQUE PARK: Some of the world's most sought after vehicles will be on display in Stig's Supercar garage including a Ferrari F40, a Koenigsegg CCX, and a Pagani Zonda Roadster F. In Marque Park a host of manufacturers will show off their latest models including Lexus, Lotus, Deus Ex Machina, Holden and Opel. Also, catch shows from online sensation Mighty Car Mods.
RED BULL RACING ZONE: Red Bull Racing Australia and the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 team will be on display in the Pit Lane garages alongside a Red Bull Racing merchandise zone.
VOLVO CHALLENGE: Located on the nail-biting figure of eight track which offers visitors the chance to get behind the wheel of the all news Volvo V40.
VARIETY FAMILY FUN ZONE (below): Overlooking the starting grid of the Sydney.com North Circuit, for a $2 donation the zone will offer entertainment for kids including dodgem cars, face painting, a giant slide, a jumping castle and more. Variety will also have a selection of their big bash vehicles on display.
BBC KNOWLEDGE AUTOGRAPH & INTERVIEW STAGE: This stage will play host to a number of drivers and celebrities across the Festival weekend. Hear them talk about life in the fast lane, and have the chance to get an autograph from your idol.
SYDNEY HELICOPTER RIDES: Sydney Helicopters will be offering rides to visitors across the weekend. Prices start from just $90.
There's plenty to do for everyone
WITH so much to enjoy at Top Gear Festival Sydney, it's pretty hard to single out 10 highlights of the show, such is the depth on offer.
But here goes.
1. THE AUSSIE SPEED SHOWDOWN: The ultimate race Mark Webber in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 car, Casey Stoner on a bike and Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull Racing Australia V8 Supercar.
2. CAR v PLANE RACE: In a battle across land and sky, Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull Racing Australia V8 will race aerobatic stunt pilot Matt Hall in his plane.
3. TRI-NATIONS CUP: Powered by Opel, the event sees Australia take on New Zealand and UK/Ireland. Captains Craig Lowndes, Fabian Coulthard and The Stig will lead their teams through a series of Top Gear challenges taking place across the Park which will see one country take home the coveted Tri-Nations Cup.
4. LAP RECORD ATTEMPT: The Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 car with Mark Webber at the wheel will attempt to set a new lap records of the full circuit at Sydney Motorsport Park.
5. CLARKSON'S 100m SPRINT: Jeremy Clarkson will race Olympic Gold Medallist Sally Pearson in a man v machine 100m sprint.
6. myPLATES STAR IN A REASONABLY PRICED CAR CHALLENGE: Powered by Lexus, 16 celebrities including Kyle Sandilands, Michael Slater, Sam Burgess and Emma Freedman will compete to set the fastest timed lap in a challenge which brings to life the popular segment from the Top Gear TV show.
7. FISH OUT OF WATER: Craig Lowndes will take to a Suzuki Race bike to go up against Casey Stoner in the Red Bull Racing Australia V8 Supercar.
8. POSTIE BIKE CHALLENGE: James May will attempt to speed up the Express Post service in Australia with assistance from some MotoGP heroes
9. RACING CATEGORIES: 2013 Opening Rounds from Touring Car Masters with Jim Richards and John Bowe, and the Radical Australia Cup.
10. LAP OF LEGENDS: Former F1 World Champion Alan Jones will be setting his 1980 Williams F1 car against Bathurst legend Colin Bond in Alan Moffat's 1977 Ford Falcon.
>> Download the full schedule for each day and the site map from www.topgearfestivalsydney.com.au
Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
Can I upgrade to a Grandstand Session on the day?
Yes, there will be a box office located underneath the Grandstand for people wishing to upgrade their tickets, unless the Grandstand session is sold out prior.
There are two Grandstand Sessions a day, the morning (9am1pm) and the afternoon (1.30pm5.30pm) which guarantees patrons a seat overlooking all the action taking place on the Sydney.com North Circuit. And don't forget to get your tickets through Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au
Is food and beverages available?
A range of food and drink options will be available to purchase on site, including from the Rekorderlig Cider Lookout which hosts a cider bar overlooking many aspects of the Park. Alcohol may not be brought onto the site as it will be available for sale in licensed areas.
Will there be an opportunity to meet any of the stars at the Festival?
The BBC Knowledge Interview and Autograph Stage located in the Motoring Village will host drivers and stars across the weekend. Schedules are available on site.
Will Top Gear Festival Sydney go on tour?
Top Gear Festival Sydney is on for one weekend only in 2013, March 9 and 10 at Sydney Motorsport Park.