Top Gear Live's highly-regarded stunt team has set a new world record - becoming the first to complete a double loop-the-loop on four wheels.
The so-called 'Deadly 720' was the spectacular closing finale to a sell-out crowd at a Top Gear Live show in Durban, South Africa.
Top Gear Live creative director Rowland French says the Deadly 720 is the toughest stunt that the team has ever performed, following on after becoming the first to complete a single loop-the-loop in an indoor arena.
"We've pulled off some pretty outrageous stunts in the past but this was by far the most audacious yet," admitted 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."
Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond hosted the Durban show.
"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 stunt featured two giant steel loops positioned 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.
Special hand controls were fitted to lock out the accelerator, and 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.
It needed to enter each loop at between 38km/h and 41km/h. Failing to reach the minimum speed risked the buggy falling out at the top of the loop. Too fast meant too much G- force which could have caused the driver to black out. It also needed to exit loop one with enough velocity to enter the second loop at the right speed.
See the video of the stunt team's madness here
- NZ HERALD STAFF