The Gumball 3000 is an annual 4,800km international road rally which takes place on public roads, and is the brainchild of Maximillion Cooper. Each year a different route is organised with the emphasis being on an adventure rather than a race. Unlike normal rallies, there are no prizes and no official timekeeping with the only stipulations being the drivers are celebrities, are super rich and have unique cars.
The first race took place in 1999 and featured 55 of Cooper’s friends driving from London to Rimini and back. Each succesive rally has seen drivers travelling all over the world, with the most ambitious course (so far) being held in 2006. The race began in London, with the finish line in Los Angeles, with various legs held throughout Europe and Asia. The 10th race was also the most expensive, with competitors’ entrance costs topping the $120k mark. This race began in San Francisco and ended in Beijing, being timed to coincide with the Olympic Games.
Apart from the entrance costs, drivers must also pay for petrol, food and drink as well as insurance for the exotic and powerful sports cars they drive. One downside of the races is that they are closely followed by police forces in every country they pass through, resulting in heavy fines for a lot of drivers, with over 500 speeding fines issued during the 2004 race.
The 15th anniversary race is being held in May, with the race starting in Copenhagen and ending in Monaco, hopefully in time for all the competitiors to watch the Grand Prix. A party will be held at each of the staging points to alleviate the boredom of driving 3,000 miles in one week. The most anticipated car at this rally will be a replica of the Batman Tumbler, driven by Team Galag from Saudi Arabia, who will also be desiging a bespoke supercar specifically for this rally.
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