- Photo: MMStadium.com

A Letter to Jeremy, James and Richard

I have something to ask Jeremy, James and Richard, so I decided to write them a letter.

3y ago

Dear Jeremy, James and Richard.

You don’t know me, but I’m a genuinely big fan of yours. I’m 18 and I live in the middle of nowhere in South Africa but thanks to you, I am the petrolhead I am today. I started watching Top Gear at the age of 11 and when I heard you three would be in town (Durban) in 2012 for the Top Gear Festival, I bought my tickets as quickly as I could.

I’ll be honest, at the first iteration of the Top Gear Festival Durban I was pretty clueless at what car was what. I was touching distance away from a Lamborghini Aventador and I all I thought was, “Well, that’s a cool car!” I discovered about a year after that just what I witnessed. It was only in 2013 that I well and truly appreciated the more exotic specimens of the automobile world and the sheer privilege of seeing and hearing a F1 car in action.

I actually get excited when I think about this massive festival of motoring that you three hosted. The street circuit that took place in the streets of Durban that was the stage for national debuts, such as the Jaguar F-Type and timed laps between supercars like the then brand new Lamborghini Aventador and McLaren MP4-12C (but James drove it, so the Lambo won). You guys brought Formula 1 back to the country with Mercedes in 2012 and Redbull Racing in 2013, something that I had never experienced prior to the Festival. Let’s also not forget being able to witness the allusive Stig in action. I mean, I actually saw The Stig!

Then we arrive at the live stadium show. Let’s be honest, this was the reason over 67 000 people flocked to the Moses Mabhida Stadium. It was all just so absolutely crazy! Watching Porsches drifting around while they were on fire, seeing a man do a 720 degree loop-the-loop in a buggie, you three trying to improve our, um, “special” South African taxis and having a race in some rather dodgy household appliances to name but a few. My favourite part of the live show, however, was when an array of mouth-watering cars all parked next to each other and were then discussed by yourselves. As somebody who saw a supercar about 3 times a year, this was well and truly a special occasion for me. Oh yeah, who can forget my good friend Mr Sasha Martinengo bungee jumping in a car? I mean where else could you see all these different things at one festival?

Now I know The Grand Tour keep you guys pretty busy, but couldn’t we just do another Top Gear Festival (bar the name of course) as a one-off? I cannot describe just how much I miss that annual event that I had the privilege of attending four times. It has been a dream of mine (and most certainly still is) to meet you all in person. If it weren’t for you three, I wouldn’t be here aspiring to be a motoring journalist and wanting to make a TV show about cars as you did.

So, what do you say? I can guarantee you my fellow South African petrolheads will welcome you with open arms! Also, we aren’t able to watch The Grand Tour here in SA (legally anyway) so consider it as an exclusive, live Grand Tour episode!

Yours sincerely,

Barrie Ferreira

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Comments (2)

  • I am also South African. Sadly I missed the live events. Just like you I wish to see the trio and they also inspired me to become a car journalist as well.

      2 years ago