Driving Instructor Sues To Close ‘Top Gear America’ Track Until It’s Safe


The BBC probably hoped “Top Gear America” would get a lot of attention ahead of its launch in late 2017, but not this kind.

A driving instructor is suing to close SpeedVegas, a performance driving experience in Las Vegas, until the facility implements improved safety measures, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday. The lawsuit follows a crash at the track in February that killed instructor Gil Ben-Kely and customer Craig Sherwood.

Filed on behalf of SpeedVegas driving instructor Francisco Durban in Clark County District Court, the suit reportedly names SpeedVegas LLC, World Class Driving and Scott Gragson, who owns the land the track is built on, as defendants. Durban claims SpeedVegas’ 1 1/2-mile course “is inherently, excessively and unnecessarily dangerous in design and operation,” according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The facility is set to be the test track for the new “Top Gear America,” and many already have criticized the safety of the track’s design. However, Durban also accuses SpeedVegas of unsafe practices.

His suit noted the Lamborghini Aventador involved in the fatal crash on Feb. 12 wasn’t safe for track use, as it was an open-top roadster and wasn’t fitted with a roll cage. In addition, Durban reportedly claims the car was fitted with “numerous aftermarket modifications” that had been recalled for safety reasons.

“Unsafe or unreasonably dangerous conditions continue to exist at SpeedVegas following the fatal crash that SpeedVegas had not changed and that are a threat to plaintiff, his co-workers as well as customers of SpeedVegas,” the lawsuit reads, via Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Following Ben-Kely and Sherwood’s deaths, Durban claims he and the other instructors had to complete a psychiatric evaluation as well as a road test on the track, and sign a waiver that said “every precaution has been taken to ensure my safety as well as the safety of our guests.” However, Durban said his requests to add Formula One-style Tecpro barriers where the wreck occurred were ignored and SpeedVegas reopened Feb. 22.

He did not sign the form, and refuses to return to work in what he considers to be unsafe conditions.

Thumbnail photo via SpeedVegas

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