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New Cars Road Tested on the Island. 8 September 2003

Top Gear, the world's most popular motoring programme, is to spend a week in the Isle of Man filming road tests for its third series, which returns to BBC2 next month.

The Top Gear team wanted an exciting, scenic location in which to film road tests of some fantastic new cars including the BMW M3 CSL, Porsche Boxster, Honda S2000 and BMW Z4, and the Isle of Man fitted the bill perfectly. In fact, the show's producers were so impressed with the wonderful scenery and open roads that they have decided to base an entire show around the Island. As a result, Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will arrive on the Isle of Man on Sunday September 14 to enjoy a whole week's 'working holiday'.

As part of this filming, the Mountain road will be closed between Ramsey Hairpin and the Bungalow from 10am to midday next Wednesday and Thursday (September 17 and 18), thanks to co-operation between the Department of Tourism and Leisure and the Department of Transport.

Tourism Minister David Cretney said:

I am grateful to the Department of Transport for granting these short road closures to facilitate the visit by BBC Top Gear. I appreciate it may cause inconvenience for some people but I hope many will appreciate the benefits to the Isle of Man in terms of the publicity generated amongst the programme's four million viewers in the UK. Andy Wilman, Top Gear series editor, said:

Top Gear's producers would like to say a huge thank you to everyone on the Isle of Man for their patience and co-operation, and for the unfailingly warm welcome that has been extended to the team in advance of their visit. Being able to test cars without other traffic or obstructions is a massive boom for filming, and also has a major safety benefit. None of this would have been possible without the generous assistance of everyone on the Isle of Man.

Islanders will be able to see how Clarkson and co. got on when the new series of Top Gear starts on October 26. This will be the third series of Top Gear since the programme's successful reinvention last year. The past two series' have attracted audiences of up to four million in the UK alone and, with the show now being transmitted on BBC World, global audiences have topped an incredible 105 million.

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