Webber shoots for Sydney lap record

Australian formula one ace Mark Webber will grace Eastern Creek's Sydney Motorsport Park in his Red Bull F1 racer next month in a bid to smash the circuit's lap record.

Webber - who once dashed across a deserted Sydney Harbour Bridge in an F1 promotion - and the championship-winning Red Bull entourage will aim to beat the record lap time of 1:19.142 seconds set in 2007.

Queanbeyan-born Webber, 36, will also go head-to-head with V8 Supercars legend Craig Lowndes in an F1 versus V8 race.

The stunts are part of the Top Gear Sydney Motor Festival - an evolution of Top Gear Live - hosted by the television series' long-standing presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and the Stig.

Rare supercars, muscle cars and a stunt plane are among the attractions during the two-day event (March 9-10), which is expected to attract more than 50,000 spectators and inject $19 million into the NSW economy.

The NSW Minister for Roads and Transport, Duncan Gay, wouldn't disclose how much the government had pitched in for the Top Gear deal because of "commercial in-confidence", but predicted the financial return would be “definitely worthwhile”.

The state government, in conjunction with the Australian Racing Drivers' Club, has secured the Top Gear Festival as a NSW-only event through to 2015.

Festival co-host and Australian Top Gear presenter Shane Jacobson compared Webber's race with Lowndes to a fight between Muhammad Ali and the Beatles

“You know who's going to get hurt, but it's going to be great to watch,” he joked.

“There is going to be over nine hours of stunts, races and challenges that's going to happen over the festival weekend, from the second the gate opens to when it closes.

“It's going to be complete mayhem.”

The lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park was set by German driver Nico Hulkenberg in a Lola A1GP Zytek. The track has since been updated.

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