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Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson and James May are Racing Planes to Sydney

March 4, 2014 at 6:36 PM | by | ()

UPDATE: The race has concluded, nearly 24 hours after it began. Check out who won, and how some twists made it a real nail-biter.

The sun has set for tonight in London, but it's already a bright new day over in Sydney. The miles and time zones between the two world capitals are many, and right now they're the focus of a new, live Top Gear race, as presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May challenge each other to be the first to zip across the globe and touch down at Sydney's Kingsford-Smith International Airport.

Both are traveling on commercial flights—Jeremy's onboard Singapore Airlines SQ321 to Singapore and James is on Emirates EK6 to Dubai—and both on Airbus A380s for all legs. They're also due to share their travels on Twitter thanks to the magic of in-flight wifi, but only Jeremy seems to have gotten the hang of using the network onboard his flight, which is currently chasing James' flight across Germany.

But is this race really for BBC's Top Gear? All signs point to yes, as Jeremy notes that it is a "Top Gear race," and the video of their announcing it (posted below), was uploaded to a "Top Gear Live" channel. There's a hashtag, of course: #RacetoSydney.

Although the guys haven't shared their onward itinerary plans, we've looked up what flights they should be connecting to, to finish the trip Down Under.

Jeremy Clarkson

SQ 321 London - Singapore (travel time: 12h 40m)
1h 55m layover in Singapore
SQ 221 Singapore - Sydney (travel time: 7h 55m)
Sydney arrival time: 7:30am Thursday
[Photos of the Singapore A380 Biz Class]

James May

EK 6 London - Dubai (travel time: 6h 45m)
1h 30m layover in Dubai
EK 412 Dubai - Sydney (travel time: 13h 45m)
Sydney arrival time: 7:00am Thursday
[Photos of the Emirates A380 Biz Class]

If you were to fly these same flights tomorrow in Business Class, and return this weekend, they'd cost: 5,049.25 GBP for Jeremy's Singapore Airlines flight, and 5,768.19 GBP for James' Emirates tickets. In USD, that's just shy of $10,000 each roundtrip.

Strictly by the numbers, it looks as though James May will win this race, not only for arriving to Sydney a full half-hour earlier than Jeremy, but also in flying the more expensive ticket, on average. It's also of note that James is the one with a private pilot's license, and the wherewithal to tell whether or not his flights will land on time.

And, if you're wondering where Richard Hammond is in all this, the answer is "back in London." He won't be accompanying Jeremy and James to Sydney, and James even tweeted "A favour, please, everyone: no-one is to tell Hammond we're going to Australia without him."

To track Jeremy and James, we recommend the FlightRadar24 app, or simply Google the flight numbers for the latest on their updated arrival times. Go James!

[Image: FlightRadar24 mashup]

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