News has it that Dunsfold Aerodrome, home to the Top Gear test track, will soon be repurposed into a business park under an approved scheme to build 1800 new homes at the site. Unless said plans hit multiple speed bumps – as they originally did in 2008 – the days of Top Gear’s famous test facility would appear to be numbered.
Naturally this has got under thinking about the power laps Top Gear has conducted over the years, and more specifically, ten of our favourites. While it was tempting to include celebrity laps, we’ve stuck with those conducted exclusively by Top Gear’s tame racing driver. But feel free to mention in the comments the ones we’ve glossed over…
1. Koenigsegg CCX
(Season 8, Episode 1)
Almost certainly the most famous incident ever captured on film during a Top Gear power lap, and – let’s be honest – the lap all of you expected would appear on this list, so let’s get the Koenigsegg CCX in nice and early.
The Stig’s first lap with the 795bhp 4.7-litre V8-powered maniac from Sweden had been a very respectable 1m 20.4s, slotting the CCX into the mix between the Porsche Carrera GT and Ascari KZ1. The lack of a rear wing though meant downforce was at a premium, and The Stig felt being “a bit braver” under braking could produce something even faster. It did. Straight into the tyre barriers.
Eventually the CCX with Top Gear wing would prove its decenters wrong, lapping nearly three seconds faster at 1m 17.6s
TOP 10 continues on page 2