The BBC’s Top Gear television program has been denied the opportunity to drive a V8 Supercar around a Gold Coast driver training centre due to “issues related to noise”.
News Limited reports a plan to have Jeremy Clarkson, one of the program’s three hosts, drive an Xbox-sponsored V8 Supercar around the Norwell-based Holden Driving Centre’s 2km circuit has fallen through due to issues surrounding noise restrictions.
Given only 24 hours’ notice to approve a temporary relaxation of the driving centre’s existing noise restrictions, the centre’s boss Paul Morris – a former Australian and V8 Touring Car driver – said the Gold Coast City Council told him it could not be done in time to meet Top Gear’s strict filming schedule.
Morris told the publication the council should have moved heaven and earth to attract the show.
“It’s an unbelievable lost opportunity,” Morris said.
“Clarkson was going to drive the car himself.
“The guy cutting cane next door makes more noise with his harvester than the V8 car.”
Deputy Mayor and Norwell area councillor Donna Gates said the council offered to move forward on lifting the restriction but said it would have taken a few days.
“I’m disappointed in any opportunity like this that we miss,” Gates said.
“Top Gear obviously has a really big viewing audience and it would have been great promotion for the city. But there are issues related to noise from the driving centre and my job is to ensure the residents of that community are not too severely impacted.’’
The Top Gear V8 drive, brokered by Australian racing legend Mark Skaife, is said to still be going ahead but in Warwick, about 180km south-west of Norwell, itself located approximately 30km north of Surfers Paradise.
Based around a temporary 2.96km street circuit that runs through the heart of Surfers Paradise, the V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 will see an entire field of V8-powered race cars hit public pavement between October 25 and 27.