South Africa’s motoring public are in for a racy experience as Durban prepares to host the upcoming Top Gear festival on 16 and 17 June at the impressive Moses Mabhida Stadium. Mercedes-Benz is a proud partner of this notable event, with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team providing the star attraction.
“As motorsport forms a strong part of the rich Mercedes-Benz heritage, it is only fitting that we participate at this level. Having the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team with their 2011 W02 car to enthral the fans in Durban is a real draw-card,” says Selvin Govender, Divisional Manager of Marketing for passenger cars, at Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
The first car to carry the name ‘Mercedes’ was a racing car, and it made a winning debut as far back as March 1901. The company recently marked 111 years of sporting success – notably with Nico Rosberg’s first win in the modern era of the Silver Arrows team at this year’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Throughout its history, Mercedes-Benz has set new benchmarks in every series in which it has raced.
The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One car will be driven in South Africa by Sam Bird, GP2 winner and the team’s test driver. Also making an appearance will be South Africa’s very own Jody Scheckter, the 1979 Formula One world champion.
“It’s a great opportunity to drive our Silver Arrow Formula One car through the streets of Durban. We’re all excited about travelling to South Africa in June. Everyone at the factory watches Top Gear regularly and I’m sure it will be a great event,” says Sam Bird.
As part of an ongoing CSI programme to educate and inspire young South Africans, Jody Scheckter will be taking a select number of children from local schools on a few laps around the circuit in a C 63 AMG sedan. This activity, together with a special ‘Father’s Day’ promotion will take place on Sunday 17 June.
As part of the main exhibition, Mercedes-Benz will display a number of vehicles from their AMG range, including the all-powerful SLK 55 AMG roadster, the CLS 63 AMG, the CL 63 AMG, the C 63 AMG sedan and the mighty C 63 AMG Black Series. This display also forms part of Mercedes-AMG’s 45-years of AMG celebratory activities.
Making a special appearance will be two SLS AMG coupés on the track, one as the official pace car and one with a Top Gear presenter. The awe-inspiring SLS AMG Coupé never fails to draw admiration wherever it goes.
“This display provides us with an ideal opportunity to share our adrenalin pumping, high performance cars with the showgoers whilst at the same time show-casing the prowess of the Mercedes-AMG range,” adds Govender.
Motoring fans are staunch followers of the Top Gear events that have been coming to South Africa over the past few years and also the ever-popular television series, so the festival is sure to have motoring enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.