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Old 04-24-2003, 02:04 AM
Amore California
 
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Thumbs up Cannonball Run / Gumball Rally Lives!

Today from the Los Angeles Times ...

My Bay Area Brothers and Sisters, did you see or hear about this event passing through the area?

Norm

#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$

They drove them like they stole them.

A coast-to-coast rally started with the smell of money and burning rubber as more than 140 Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys and other exotic cars peeled out of the parking lot of San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel last week. Within minutes, dozens of 911 calls flooded into California Highway Patrol dispatchers from frightened commuters reporting crazed drivers.

When the first competitors reached the finish line of the Gumball Rally in Miami on Tuesday night, they had racked up more than 500 traffic citations and countless stories of excessive speed.

The rally is billed as a leisurely six-day drive across the continent. Organizers have repeatedly insisted that the annual event is not a race. However, they've also said it can't be helped if some participants find speed limits too confining for their dream machines as they scream across the countryside.

Drivers in the race said at least one participant had accumulated $10,000 in fines and bail postings before reaching Louisiana. Another entrant had been cited for going nearly four times the speed limit 210 mph in his 655-horsepower Koenigsegg in Texas, said racer Brian Kelley of Chicago.

And with the race running through several party towns like Las Vegas and New Orleans, participants said the nighttime celebrations were also on the excessive side.

"Here's how it goes every night," said racer Bo Bridges, 28, a Hermosa Beach photographer. "They go to the bars until they close, then they clean out the mini-bars, and then they find the nudie bars. Whatever's open, they find it."

The race got off to a roaring start Thursday. "We had reports of BMWs and Porsches going 100 mph on the Oakland Bay Bridge," said Sgt. Wayne Ziese of the California Highway Patrol. "It's dangerous stuff. The speed limit is 50 mph on the bridge, and they were going twice that."

Other cars were seen weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 80 and using the shoulder to get around traffic. The CHP cited five drivers and impounded five cars: three BMWs, a Mercedes and a Porsche. The CHP also received a report that a Ferrari had spun out in the snow trying to cross Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada.

Ziese said the CHP did not know about the race until the cars hit the streets. Organizers attempted to keep the route secret until the race began. Police in several other states reported they were caught off guard.

In Las Vegas, several motorists called the Nevada Highway Patrol to report two Lamborghinis racing two Porsches on a local highway.

The Arizona Highway Patrol issued 25 to 35 tickets to people in the rally, with several citations being handed out soon after the cars crossed Hoover Dam into the state.

In Alabama on Tuesday, a state trooper pulled over a speeding Porsche and then stood on the side of the road helplessly as other exotic cars blew past, said Dorris Teague, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

"If you have trouble hearing me, it's because there's a police helicopter hovering over us," said Kelley, 25, as he sped through Alabama in his Audi S4 on Tuesday. Kelley was pulled over two blocks from the starting line in San Francisco for going 55 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Far from slowing them down, the tickets are a badge of honor for some racers, who have taped them to their car windows.

Kelley said two women were pulled over in Texas for speeding in a Ferrari 575 Maranello. When state troopers approached the car, they found the women were topless.

The officers, according to Kelley's account, then called for backup and posed for photos with the competitors before allowing them to leave.

Officials with the Texas Highway Patrol could not confirm the story, but did say that driving topless in Texas is legal.

The rally has been around in one form or another since the 1960s and was made famous in two films that have become cult favorites of car enthusiasts, "The Gumball Rally" in 1976 and "The Cannonball Run" in 1981.

The race was revived in 1999 by a wealthy Briton named Maximillian Cooper, who has said he wanted to put together a soiree for 50 of his friends. This year, 148 racers are competing. For the most part, the rally attracts wealthy Europeans willing to pay the entry fee of $16,500, plus another $15,000 to $20,000 to have their cars ferried by plane to North America provided that Cooper accepts their application to enter the event.

Bridges, the Hermosa Beach man, is driving the slowest vehicle in the field, a Volkswagen Eurovan sponsored by the beverage company Yoo-hoo. He described the race as a 3,000-mile high-speed party.

"Most of these guys are from Europe," said Bridges. "They get tagged at 150 mph, they go to jail and get their mug shots, then post bail. They don't care. They're laughing about it in the hotel that night."

Between San Francisco and Pensacola, Fla., Bridges was pulled over four times and received one ticket for going "about 120" mph in the Nevada desert. He voiced concern that the van begins shaking violently at speeds over 90.

Bridges said he began the race with five co-drivers, but had lost them all by Florida. A husband-and-wife team were left behind in Reno after they got into a protracted argument. Another "annoying" co-driver was involuntarily dropped off at a checkpoint in the New Mexico desert. The last two teammates were apparently victims of having too much of everything on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Many car enthusiasts around the world tried to follow the Gumball Rally over the Internet, but accounts were hard to find apparently because participants found better things to do at night than sit in front of computers and file dispatches.

The racers were well-behaved in San Francisco before the Gumball started last week. "There were an exceptional amount of good-looking people in the group," said Samara Diapoulos, the Fairmont Hotel's spokeswoman.

Six days later, employees at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami prepared for the racers to pull past the finish line.

Late Tuesday, the race appeared to be ending as it began: Two contestants in Porsches were thrown out of the Miami hotel for doing doughnuts in the parking lot.

The rally will end on a sour note for valets at the hotel. They were told by management that Gumballers would park their own vehicles.
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Old 04-24-2003, 07:11 AM
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IMO, this race is irresponsible, reckless (or wreck-laden) and just plain crazy! I mean, closing speeds with cars to be passed at 100+MPH? I like speed as much as the next guy (likely more) but someone's gonna mow down a few civilians and this thing will be over for good.

I mean, if you think you're fast why not run the Genuine Article and "put up or shut up"? www.onelapofamerica.com

Alan Tackman and I are doing the event this year is his 600HP 911tt, and we plan on doing our best & fastest driving on racetracks. We don't expect to scare the crap out of anyone, except perhaps ourselves!

Wish us luck, and stay posted at www.teamblitzen-onelap.com
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:02 AM
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Thumbs up

That sounds like a frickin' blast...for real

I aspire to live like that someday.
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2003, 10:11 AM
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I saw those guys going through Pensacola, FL on I-10. I figured it was something like the Gumball. When you see four BMW Z8s back to back and some with racing stickers.....you tend not to think it is a bunch of teenagers bouncing around. Cool!
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Old 04-24-2003, 02:39 PM
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Driving topless in Texas is LEGAL?!?

I need to move.

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Old 04-24-2003, 03:46 PM
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What is the "sport" of disgustingly rich and spoiled owners of ultra sports cars driving from CA to FL just to party across country? Gimme a break. For $12K I think I can party across the USA just fine on my own, thank you very much.
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:44 PM
EvoII_Racer
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Re: Cannonball Run / Gumball Rally Lives!

Quote:
[i]Late Tuesday, the race appeared to be ending as it began: Two contestants in Porsches were thrown out of the Miami hotel for doing doughnuts in the parking lot.[/B]
ROTFLMAO Thats too funny!!!

Great stuff Norman, thanks for the article
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:50 PM
EvoII_Racer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael
Alan Tackman and I are doing the event this year is his 600HP 911tt, and we plan on doing our best & fastest driving on racetracks. We don't expect to scare the crap out of anyone, except perhaps ourselves![/url]
WOW, that Porsches sounds like a beast and looks amazing Good luck and be carefull


Quote:
Originally posted by Dcraig
Driving topless in Texas is LEGAL?!?

I need to move.

Craig
LOL
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:34 PM
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Michael and Allen

I would like to join you guys at some point !!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:18 PM
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A couple of friends of mine in DC were planning on doing this in a E55, they still want to do it next year and I might tag along. Sounds like a ton of fun but I can certainly see Michaels point that it can be dangerous to unsuspecting motorist.

I did suggest the one lap to them although I'm bummed because it's mainly east coast venues.
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Old 04-26-2003, 09:02 AM
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There are quite a few left-coasters participating in the One Lap-I mean, if you're willing to drive 4-7k miles in a week, what's another few grand getting to the start?

The Lap Dogs all seem undaunted by big road trips - I've been to Carolina Motorsports Park and BeaveRun in the last 3 weeks (in order to pre-drive the tracks for the Lap) and what the local folks all said is that Lap Dogs en mass had been showing up at every track event. So much for a competitive advantage!

Yup, the tt is assuredly a beast - in getting new turbos at the moment, so we'll be packing big HP for the party. Hope it's enough!

If you like cars, you really should visit one of the tracks on the Lap when the event's passing through. All sorts of wild cars-at BeaveRun yesterday, Paul Gerard was there in a RUF GT3! Cool car, unbelievable driver (former Chief Instructor @ Skip Barber).

See you down the road! BTW if you are serious about hooking up with us during our adventure, email me privately so I can ensure you're admitted to the track(s). Also, keep an eye on our website-the stories are already beginning to accumulate (like the 2 cars that broke on our way to BeaveRun, leaving us to run all day in a rented Pontiac Grand Prix-hope the brakes & left front tire get replaced before the next renter )
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2003, 10:35 PM
ACTACK
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one lap

Placo 1- that E55 will be a good start- just doing the event is a great fun- but to be competitive in luxury sedan a Kleeman would be more likely to succeed. We though about entering my Renntech E60 in Luxury sedan- but jumped classes to GT-1 with the Porsche. Sadly, there arent any benzs entered this year as far as I know- and it looks like the sedan class will be all Bimmers. Someone needs to step up and take the challenge!

I also encourage any of you guys to try and make the OLOA venue nearest you- as the spectace will be worth the visit if you like all fast cars (and not just MBs) Please email Michael and hope to see you there!
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Old 05-05-2003, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MTI
What is the "sport" of disgustingly rich and spoiled owners of ultra sports cars driving from CA to FL just to party across country
Who said it is a "sport"? -Fast cars, nice half-naked girls, expensive hotels, drinking at night.. That's not a sport. That's a PARTY! And if i had the cash, i would simply love to participate.

That said, i have to acknowlage the fact that some (most) of the drivers are doing some risky and potentially dangerous stuff during that party.

Freestyler
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Old 05-05-2003, 06:59 PM
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sure it sounds like fun,until......

what is going to happen when we hear of the first innocent fatality.heaven forbid it's not a child!i think i'm like alot of you and i wish i had the lifestyle where i had the opportunity to be involved in this but i think i would pass on it now
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Old 05-12-2003, 11:33 PM
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check out this link for a vid. of a "cannon ball run" pretty funny watching them get pulled.

http://www.peake.com/occ/OffHighwayVideos/mischief3000.mpeg


Hunter
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