Jeremy turns up heat in V8

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL GOVER

JEREMY Clark­son was re­duced to a smok­ing ball of sweat on the Gold Coast this week.

The Top Gear front­man took the wheel of Bathurst cham­pion Craig Lown­des’ rac­ing Com­modore and quickly dis­cov­ered the com­bined im­pact of speed and Queens­land hu­mid­ity.

‘‘It’s hard work. I’ll be a pud­dle of sweat,’’ Clark­son said af­ter his first track laps with Lown­des in the pas­sen­ger seat of the stripped-out 450-kilo­Watt racer.

He was quick to light up a cig­a­rette as he took a break.

Clark­son and James May are in Aus­tralia for a Top Gear Live tour and, while pre­par­ing for their open­ing show in Bris­bane, hit the Holden Per­for­mance Driv­ing Cen­tre, in Nor­well, for some fun with Lown­des’ cham­pi­onship-win­ning Voda­fone team.

Clark­son lived a per­sonal dream when he drove the V8 Su­per­car racer while May, and Top Gear Aus­tralia pre­sen­ter Shane Ja­cob­son, got hot laps along­side the five-time Bathurst win­ner.

Clark­son has said the Bathurst 1000 is the only mo­tor race he likes to watch.

‘‘He’s good. He took to it like a duck to wa­ter,’’ Lown­des said. ‘‘I was rub­bish,’’ Clark­son said. The world’s high­est-paid mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ist was not giv­ing of­fi­cial in­ter­views this week, and had a large en­tourage to en­sure his per­sonal space and work­ing room for a tele­vi­sion crew, but he was clearly hav­ing fun.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic. A proper car,’’ Clark­son said.

He com­pleted around 20 laps of the track with­out in­ci­dent, al­though he did lock the car’s brakes and got it side­ways as he learned the lim­its.

‘‘That’s no drama,’’ Lown­des said.

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