02.05.2006 After the hectic first leg of the Gumball Rally took the competitors on a cross Europe dash from London to Budapest, this morning saw the crews heading out of the Hungarian capital towards a lunchtime rendezvous in Belgrade

After the very long first leg of the 8th Gumball 3000 Rally took the competitors from the Pall Mall, London startline on a dash through Europe via a midnight checkpoint at a Belgian Châteaux and on to Budapest yesterday teatime, today saw the surviving crews heading out of the Hungarian capital city very early on to a make a lunchtime rendezvous in Belgrade.

This last dash down Eastern Europe sees the end of the first leg, which has comprised a route of 1,000 miles undertaken since the London start late on Sunday afternoon. The 'Gumballers' arrived at Belgrade City Hall in the Serbian capital around lunchtime for a reception and parade, and now begins the major logistical task of packing all the cars and equipment up onto a fleet of waiting cargo planes and flying them on to Phuket in Thailand for the start of leg 2 on Thursday, also 1,000 miles in duration, which will see them dash southwards on a route that will take them through the rainforests from the popular holiday resort of Phuket to the Thai capital city Bangkok where the government will host an official reception for the tired crews.

Of the original entry of 120, a number are already out already with several cars, including a Rolls-Royce Phantom and Dodger Viper crashing spectacularly, while a further number of cars have been confiscated by the European police forces for speeding offences. Italian sportscars are well represented with also fifty Ferrari and Lamborghini mounted crews taking part. Cars in action on the rally this year include the Ferrari F430 Coupé and Spider; 360 Coupé, Spider and Challenge Stradale; F355; 612 Scaglietti (including one driver by the rally's organiser Maximillion Cooper); F50 and from Lamborghini the current crop of production models are all represented: the Gallardo, Murciélago Coupé and Roadster, as well the fearsome Diablo and the massive LM002 offroader.

The Gumball 3000 Rally - History

In 1933 legendary motorcycle racer Mister Baker, had crossed the United States coast-to-coast in 54 hours, earning him the nickname Cannonball. He had had an annual race ever since 1914 (when he needed 11 days), and bettered his time ever since. In the 1970s motor journalist Brock Yates of Car and Driver magazine had started the Cannonball Baker Sea To Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in honor of Cannonball. The first race was held on April 1, 1971, and first prize was a Gumball dispenser. The first race was won by Yates and Dan Gurney, former race driver for Formula One and Le Mans, who drove a Ferrari. They needed about 35 hours from New York to L.A. These events inspired the 1976 movies Gumball Rally and Cannonball, as well as sequels such as Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run 2, etc. The original Gumball race was finally cancelled in 1979.

Drawing inspiration from the 1970s race, the movies and Smokey and the Bandit, Maximillion Cooper started the modern edition of the game in the summer of 1999 as the Gumball 3000 road rally. Gumball 3000 has since gained the reputation as road race for the modern era and has captured the attention. With celebrity participation the public have been bought closer to the race by witnessing it on everything from MTV to reading about it in Vanity Fair.


1999: The original race featured 50 among Cooper’s friends, and went from London, to Rimini, Italy and back, passing through Paris, to the beautiful Chateau d’Esclimont, before lapping the Le Mans race circuit, followed by a checkpoint at the Mas du Clos Ferrari Museum, then Monaco Grand Prix circuit in Monaco, the Ferrari Factory in Modena, the Ambras Palace in Austria and the Hockenheim Grand Prix Circuit in Germany before returning to London to cross the finish line on Park Lane. The winner drove a 1963 Jaguar E-Type. Other drivers included actors Billy Zane in a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, Jason Priestley in a Lotus Esprit V8 and Dannii Minogue in a Porsche Boxster.

2000: The second race was held in May 2000. The race started at Marble Arch in London and went to Stansted Airport, where all cars and people were airlifted to a private airport in Spain. The race then continued through Bilbao, Cannes, Milan, Hotel Bühlerhöhe Castle near Baden-Baden (Germany), the Nürburgring GP circuit and Hamburg before returning to London.


After the very long first leg of the 8th Gumball 3000 Rally which took the competitors from the Pall Mall, London startline on a dash through Europe via a midnight checkpoint at a Belgian Châteaux and on to Budapest yesterday teatime, today saw the surviving crews heading out of the Hungarian capital city very early on to a make a lunchtime rendezvous in Belgrade. Photos:


The Gumball 3000 Rally competitors in Vienna: famous and highly exotic Italian supercars litter the 120 strong field of this 8th edition. Photos:

Notable entrants included Drum and bass legend and James Bond baddie Goldie in an Aston Martin V8, it-girl Tara Palmer Tomkinson in a Jaguar XK8, Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds in a Bentley, the indie band Placebo in a Lagonda, the Happy Mondays all crammed into a 2+2 Jaguar, and Maximillion in the famous Bentley Arnage 1WO.

The third race, held in April 2001, featured 106 cars, including Johnny Knoxville, Steve O and the rest of the cast of Jackass driving an 80s rusted out Jag, as well as F1 World champion Damon Hill driving a Lamborghini, comedian Vic Reeves in a AMG, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu in a Blower Bentley and Maximillion in an original AC Cobra. The race went from Hyde Park Corner in London to Berlin, Vilnius, Saint Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen before returning to London. Kim Schmitz finishes first in his Brabus EV12 Megacar. The race was made into an hour long Jackass Gumball 3000 Special on MTV and received the highest viewing figures of the year. Ruby Wax also ran in the event covering it for terrestrial TV in the UK on BBC1.

The fourth race was held in April 2002, the first to be run outside Europe. The race goes from New York to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, passing through a checkpoint at the Whitehouse in Washington DC, onto Nashville, Tennessee for lunch in Elvis Presley’s Mansion, Graceland, before getting a Dallas Cowboys welcome in Texas, onwards to Cadillac Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, Nevada before reaching the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills where Hugh Hefner and playmates awarded trophies. 175 cars entered the contest, including a 60s Corvette painted in the Stars and Stripes that won best car award, the 1959 Ferrari California Spider from the movie Ferris Buellers day off that was bought at a cost of over $1m just to take part in the Gumball, as well as old American muscle cars taking to the road with modern day supercars. Fashion designer Donna Karan, models Amy Wesson and Rachel Hunter, and actor Matthew McConaughey were amongst the stars.

2003: The fifth race was held in May 2003, with 175 cars from San Francisco, California to Miami, Florida, passing through Reno, Nevada, Las Vegas, Tucson, Arizona, White Sands, New Mexico, San Antonio, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. This one was made into ‘Gumball 3000′ The Movie and starred Jackass’ Ryan Dunn racing a rental car alongside skateboard legends Tony Hawk in a Dodge Viper and Bucky Lasek, Motocross World champions Travis Pastrana and Carey Hart, supermodel Jodie Kidd all driving the most amazing mix of Ferrari F50s, Lambo’s, the 242mph Swedish Koenigsegg Supercar and other exotica, to West Coast Choppers Jesse James in a custom VW Campervan.

2004: The sixth race was held in May 2004, back again in Europe. The race went from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Biarritz, Madrid, Marbella, then crossed over to Africa, to Marrakech in Morrocco as guests of the King, before returning to Spain for the Barcelona Grand Prix, finishing in Cannes at the famous film festival. 192 amazing cars took part, but the car that stole the show was a little old Citroen 2CV painted like the General Lee. Ex Boxing world champion Chris Eubank drove a truck, whilst The Pianist Academy winning actor Adrien Brody favoured a Porsche and the ‘Ai Ya’ Boys just rented a Winnebago. On Gumball its seems just about anything goes.

2005: The seventh race started at Trafalgar Square on May 14, 2005. It took over 3000 miles from London to Brussels, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and then to Dubrovnik in Croatia. The cars were then transported by ferry to Bari, in Italy, then lap the old Targa Florio circuit in Sicily, before they headed north to Rome, and finally crossed the finish line in the Monaco’s Casino Square prior to the F1 Grand Prix. Participants included Gumball veterans, skater Rob Dydrek, rock stars and supermodels driving everything from a Dukes of Hazzard General Lee themed Ferrari to Carrera GTs.

2006: Starting in London and finishing 8 days later in Los Angeles…this one will see 120 amazing cars driving 3000 miles across 3 Continents in just 8 days.

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With more than 50 Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini supercars in its massed ranks, the Gumball 3000 Rally, an action-backed three legged event that will take competitors right around the world, kicked off in style in Pall Mall, Central London yesterday afternoon

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