Lewis Hamilton (L) and Ken Block
BUSHY PARK, Barbados – It was a race that the world of motorsport was eagerly awaiting, and Top Gear Festival Barbados didn’t disappoint. For the first time ever, race ace Lewis Hamilton, took on Gymkhana star Ken Block on the beautiful island of Barbados. The all action head-to-head took place at the new Bushy Park Circuit at Top Gear Festival Barbados, which made history this weekend by hosting the first Caribbean round of the Global Rallycross Championship.
Lewis Hamilton, at the wheel of his Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One car, took on Ken Block in his Global Rallycross car on the Bushy Park Circuit and rallycross course.
The question on everyone’s lips as the engines started up was: Who will come out on top in a full three-lap race? Head to head, which is actually faster -- a rally car or an F1 car? The answer may have seemed obvious, but when the race began between two of the best drivers in the world with the rally car on a shorter rally track, it really was anyone’s guess.
The crowd was not disappointed. It was world-class entertainment from the start, with the two racing superstars going head to head around the track. It was a nail biting finish and in the end there was nothing between the two cars as they crossed the finish line in style, with a sequence of donuts to create the perfect photo finish.
Lewis Hamilton: “I’ve got a huge amount of respect for Ken Block as a driver so I jumped at the chance to go head to head against him in our cars at Top Gear Festival Barbados. Racing Ken is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, he’s such an exciting driver and is always pushing the boundaries with the cool stunts he does with his car! It was awesome racing against him and I can’t wait to do it again today.”
Ken Block: "I had a ton of fun racing around with Lewis during the Top Gear Festival Barbados. I never thought I'd find myself racing an F1 car with my Ford Fiesta racecar and I'm super stoked with how it performed -- especially off the line! I'm looking forward to getting out there with Lewis again today."
Top Gear Festival Barbados thrilled petrol-heads everywhere on Saturday who were treated to the first of two days of high-octane motoring action.
Hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, together with guest presenters Eddie Jordan, Lee McKenzie and Tiff Needell, were on hand to dole out a non-stop schedule of motoring antics and visitors witnessed The Stig and key members of the Top Gear Live Stunt Driving Team take to the track in a series of stunts, races and challenges.
The action didn’t stop there and visitors were also treated to 2008 Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton demonstrating his skills in the Mercedes Formula One car, and legendary drivers from Global Rally Cross, including Ken Block, Nelson Piquet Jr and Tanner Foust, compete in the first round of their 2014 season – an historic debut in the Caribbean for GRC.
The action was due to continue on Sunday for the second and final day of Top Gear Festival Barbados.