By George Polgar
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Enormous interest in cars and motor sports has created a boom in adventure tourism options from off-road trekking to Ferrari factory tours in Italy.
Now there’s a bona fide island getaway for gear heads in the Caribbean nation of Barbados.
In addition to its 25th annual international Sol Rally in early June, Barbados recently hosted the first ever TOP GEAR Festival in the Americas, at the just completed $15 million 1.2 mile Bushy Park professional racing circuit.
The event was headlined by the stars of Great Britain’s hit TOP GEAR TV show and celebrity drivers, including a highly unusual mid-season appearance by leading Formula 1 contender Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes AMG Petronas car – possibly without the knowledge of his insurance company – and American rally and stunt driver Ken Block in the raucous Red Bull Global Rallycross series, who ended his appearance defying death in a fiery somersaulting crash of his 600 horsepower custom Monster Ford Fiesta.
The Barbados racing spectacle drew thousands of local and foreign spectators, American network TV race coverage and segments to be broadcast internationally on the TOP GEAR TV show.