The Gumball 3000 is an annual British 3,000-mile (4,800 km) international motor rally which takes place on public roads. It was started in 1999 by British entrepreneur, skateboarder and race car driver Maximillion Cooper.
The 2006 route traveled from London to Beverly Hills via Europe and Asia. The European sector had checkpoints in Château de Belœil (Belgium), Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade. Vehicles were loaded onto Antonov An-124 aircraft and ferried to Thailand. The Asian sector of the rally ran from Phuket to Bangkok, at which point the cars were once again loaded and flown to Salt Lake City for the final sector with checkpoints in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills.
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Two pensioners died in an accident in Macedonia in 2007 after their car was hit by a Gumball rally car. Participants have been stopped for speeding, have had their driving licences taken by police, and had their cars confiscated.
The 2007 route was scheduled to travel from London to Istanbul, via Amsterdam, Munich, Tirana, Dubrovnik, and Athens. Over 100 contestants including Actors Tamer Hassan and Danny Dyer and Model and Entrepreneur Caprice Bourret were scheduled to drive through 16 countries in 8 days. The entrance fee for the 2007 rally was £28,000 (€41,000) for first-time drivers. The rally cars arrived in the Netherlands on 29 April. Two cars were confiscated by Dutch Police; they had been driven at over 200 km/h, and had overtaken on the inside. Seven drivers including rapper Xzibit lost their drivers' licenses for exceeding the legal limit by more than 50 km/h. The Dutch government has forbidden streetraces by law, although rallies that are performed within the law (i.e. participating in a rally without a competitive element) are not forbidden. The next day, almost 70 luxury cars were stopped by German police for illegal road-racing. The drivers were fined, the cars were inspected, then taken in police convoy to Frankfurt Hahn airport, from where they were to fly to Turkey. A police spokesman told the media that the information about the route had been available on the official Gumball 3000 website. After Germany, the rally was due to continue from Istanbul. The participants were flown to Istanbul, but the Antonov planes carrying their vehicles were diverted to Athens.
On 2 May, a traffic accident occurred near the town of Struga, Republic of Macedonia. The Techart Porsche 911 Turbo of Nick Morley and Matthew McConville hit an oncoming Volkswagen Golf; in court, the prosecution alleged a speed of 161 km/h (other reports contend a speed of 200 km/h or more, while others doubt the credibility of such a claim given the poor road conditions). According to media reports, they fled in a BMW M6 with Russian plates to a nearby border post, where they were arrested by the police. The casualties reported in the accident were the 67-year-old driver of the other vehicle, Vladimir Chepunjoski, who died on his way to the hospital, and his wife, Margarita Chepunjoski, who died in hospital from injuries sustained in the crash on 4 May. The organisers initially continued the rally despite the incident, but in a later official statement stated that the clear details of the incident and confirmation of a fatality did not occur until some hours after the briefing, at which point the decision to cancel the remainder of the rally was made. The subsequent court hearing found Morley guilty and convicted of "endangering traffic, leading to death"; he was released from custody after receiving a two-year suspended sentence. After the verdict Morley's family released a statement detailing its own expert's findings, which contradict those of the prosecution's expert.
In an attempt to rebuild the Gumball brand and reputation, the rally was set entirely in the United States distancing the rally from the fatalities in Europe two years prior. The route was from Santa Monica to Miami.
More than 100 cars took part in the rally in 2010. The rally began in London and ended in New York, passing through Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Boston, Quebec City and Toronto. Michael Madsen left the rally in Belgium after a car was stopped by police for speeding.
2013 15th Anniversary
In 2014, and with a cost for participants of £40,000 based on two sharing a single vehicle, the rally will start in the United States in Miami, pass through Atlanta, and finish in New York City. Then it will proceed, with participants and cars being loaded onto planes, over to Western Europe, starting in Edinburgh, continuing through London, Paris, and Barcelona, before finally culminating on the island of Ibiza. Sponsors include AnastasiaDate, Battery Energy Drink, Betsafe, Christie's, Nicolas Feuillatte, and YouTube.
Gumball 3000: The Movie
In 2002, SCi developed a Gumball 3000 video game for the Sony PlayStation 2.
Scumrun - an annual charity event based at the opposite spectrum of vehicles, with a maximum purchase price of £500
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- [Gumball 3000 history: 2002]
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