Last week we reported on claims that Top Gear Australia may have taken things a little too far during the filming of stunts and reviews for season one. Reportedly, TGA's "jackass" behaviour ran up a $200,000 damage bill to cars featured in the series, the most notable being a reported $25,000 damage to a Lamborghini Gallardo and $30,000 damage done to Holden Astras during the highly controversial lawn bowls segment. (Can't see how anyone arrived at that Astra total.)
BUT... there's always two sides to every discussion and TGA's Warren 'Wazza' Brown has recently come out to defend the show's antics and put the allegations into context.
Wazza told Carsguide that TGA is no different to its UK sibling in that the premise of the show is to engage in "eager driving and wild and silly stunts". He also said that while such behaviour is an integral part of the show, the program is essentially about passion for motoring, and not wanton disregard or disrespect of motor vehicles.
The on-screen action is all part of the appeal, he said.
"One of the reasons the UK version has climbed toward the 500 million (yes, the half a billion viewers mark) is because they pull no punches. The same for Top Gear Australia."
Warren concedes that the TGA team pushes cars to the limit so that they can comment on their performance capabilities. But he also points out that the majority of automotive media outlets do the same, and sometimes damage can occur as a result.
With regards to stunts, Wazza claims that Freehand (the production company) works closely with car manufacturers to ensure they are comfortable with the stunts or conditions in which we would be filming. If that's the case, then why has TGA raised the ire of said manufacturers?
The crux of Warren's piece boils down to the view that TGA feels that its stunts and review segments are inline with those on TG UK and that some damage is almost unavoidable when it comes to testing cars fully.
This raises the question though: would manufacturers here care if TGA had as much pull as the TGUK? Top Gear Australia is still in its infancy. It will be some time, if ever, before it can gain the kind of traction and viewer numbers the UK show pulls. Would this change opinions?
We'd love to hear what you think on the topic. Let us know in the comments.