The third Special Event consists of three challenges, all of which are races which take place on the Top Gear Test Track. The disqualification rules for crashing and leaving the track apply for all three challenges.
The Track and Overtaking Places
There are several good overtaking opportunities on the track, and a few corners where just getting through safely is the order of the day. The edges of the track are not well defined - in some places you can collect the cones without penalty, in others you can be disqualified for running off the track before you even reach the cones. Generally, you may be able to make contact with the larger white striped cone, although there are exceptions, whilst touching the smaller solid red cone will result in instant failure, even if it's been knocked out of position and onto the track by another car.
From the start line, there's a short straight followed by a kink to the right and then a much sharper turn to the left. On the first lap, you may as well have a go at overtaking down the inside of the left hander but the car can destabilise quite dramatically if you're braking and turning at the same time. More caution is advised on the second lap, try not to lose any time and to close up if possible, but heroics are neither required nor recommended here.
The AI cars will brake at the little kink that leads into Chicago, where really there's no need giving a there's a chance to overtake a car on the left, before moving to the right in order to hug the tyre wall to pass another one or two on the inside. It may take a few goes to find the limits, but you should be OK to clip some of the cones on the left, and then drift quite far to the right, in order to go through in a straight-line. Just be careful of the smaller cones without the stripe, and make sure you don't clip the tyres.
The second good overtaking opportunity comes at the Hammerhead corner. This is a tricky place to get around, but doing it right allows for several positions to be gained. After a good draft for as long as you dare down the straight, you can move to the right of the track, brake later than the AI car and then carry more speed on the inside line to pass a couple more. Be careful not to cut the inside too far, as driving on parts of the run-off will disqualify you even if you haven't gone as far as the cones.
Keep your speed through the next two straights and the 'follow-through' in between, and for Bentley cut the corner as far to the left as you can, without touching the solitary cone on the grass. This will give you a slight speed advantage down the straightaway and if you're close to a car may help you get past before the corner.
Bacharach is the second to last corner, and again the AI cars brake much harder and earlier than they need to, so don't tailgate too much, but ensure you're close enough to take advantage. The track narrows considerably here so be sure to shave off enough speed not to run out onto the grass.
The last corner is Gambon, and unlike on the TV show, the game doesn't allow you to take the wide line onto the grass. You don't want to throw it all away here, so take it cautiously and ensure you get around.
Car Provided: Volkswagen typ2(T1) SambaBus '62
Unlocked at level 4, the first part of the event is an 'overtake-them-all' challenge - starting in twelfth place and with all your opponents in the same vehicle.
The SambaBus you'll be driving here is slow. What's more, it's even worse at accelerating and building up speed, so it is therefore essential you carry as much speed as possible, and draft wherever you can. The low speed means that the collision penalty system eases off, and you can do some panel rubbing and lean on your competitors with less risk of being disqualified, although pushing it to far and any kind of bumping will have you disqualified.
The key is to follow the advice in the track guide above about where to make your moves, brake later (or not at all for some places such as the right kink before Chicago, despite what the driving line suggests), position your car in the right place, and carry speed out of the Hammerhead and through the faster sections to avoid getting left behind. When starting out, try and push the limits of the track and find just how far out you can go in order to carry more speed. It's frustrating to have to start again when you do overstep the limit, but by knowing where it is you can get round the course quicker and overtake more opponents in the corners. Due to the SambaBus' acceleration, keeping the speed up, and using the whole width of the airfield is more important than getting a perfect tight line through the faster post-Hammerhead part of the track.
Ultimately, there's no tricks that can get you through this part - it comes down to your skill as a driver and knowing the limits of the track. If you obtain a gold trophy, the Top Gear Test Track is unlocked in Arcade & Practice modes.
Car Provided: Lotus Elise 111R '04
Available from A-spec level 8, the second challenge sees the objective and set-up remain much the same however the car has been upgraded to a Lotus Elise 111R. The major issue here is that the Elise is on stock Comfort:Hard tyres, making cornering difficult. Crucially, if you lose grip on the exit of the corner perhaps by flooring the accelerator before you straighten up the car, the lack of traction means that you can't get the power down, losing you a lot of speed going onto the straightaways.
In particular for those using a DualShock3 controller, rather than a steering wheel and pedals, careful control of the accelerator and steering direction is very difficult. One option, if you're not against using driver aids is to switch on the Skid Reduction Force in the pre-race options. The car will still slide around a bit, allowing some speed to be carried but this will give much better traction on the exit of corners.
Either way, the opportunities are presented by the AI at the same locations as previously, as described in the track guide above, so it's a case of adjusting to the higher speed of the car in order to take the place but make the corner.
First place and the gold trophy will see you awarded a Lotus Elise Type 72 '01 as a prize car.
Car Provided: Volkswagen kubelwagen typ82 '44
The third challenge is unlocked at level 19, and is still an overtake-them-all but with the field reduced to eight. Well, sort of. There's eight cars you're racing against but there's five more circulating the track. Although they start halfway around the track from you, and the speed of the kubelwagen means you'd never catch them, the layout of the Top Gear Test Track has the track cross over itself at the first corner and follow-through and sees Chicago and Bentley share the same bit of tarmac. Conveniently, the other cars have been set off at just the right interval to cause them to arrive at these locations at the same time as you are.
The kubelwagen isn't the fastest car, and visibility on the flat airfield track is good, so you need to watch the other train of cars to judge where they will be when you reach the crossover so you can pick a gap in the middle to get through without collecting one, or being collected. The AI cars are quite good at taking one another out, so you will gain a few positions just by avoiding collisions.
The other point to make about the kubelwagen is that it will reach 50mph on the redline in 4th gear. However, keep the accelerator held down at this speed and the engine will bounce off the rev-limiter, and your speed will drop down to 46mph before building slowly back up to 50mph. Instead, when you reach 50mph, back off the accelerator until you drop to 49mph, then back on to 50, off to 49 and so on. With some practice, you can find an accelerator position that will hold the car at 50mph without hitting the limiter. Keeping the speed between 49-50mph on the straights will give you a speed advantage over your competitors, and makes this perhaps the easiest challenge in the event.
Winning the race will result in you being awarded a Jaguar XFR '10 as a prize car.