The Gumball 3000 Rally takes on average 120 drivers each year across countries and continents on a 3000 mile journey. Travelling on public roads in exotic cars and attending parties each night, for 7 days per year the entrants of the rally receive an exclusive rally experience. The rally was founded in 1999 by current CEO, Maximillion Cooper, initially as a road trip with his friends. Today organisers strongly emphasise that the rally is a road trip and in no way a race. Sponsors of the rally in previous years have included YouTube, MTV, Krispy Kreme, Christie's and Betsafe.
The inaugural rally featured 50 of Maximillion Cooper’s friends travelling from London to Rimini, Italy and back. The route passed through Paris stopping at Chateau d’Esclimont and continued to the Le Mans race circuit. The group then travelled to the Ferrari Factory in Maranello, Ambras Palace in Austria, and the Hockenheim Grand Prix Circuit in Germany before their return to London to cross the finish line on Park Lane, London. The event commenced with a party at the Bluebird club in London attended by celebrities such as Kate Moss, Guy Ritchie and Dannii Minogue before Sir Terence Conran dropped the checkered flag the following day. Cars that took place in this first rally included a British Police car borrowed from the British television show The Bill driven by Alexandra Aitken, a Lotus Esprit and a Lamborghini Diablo.
The second year of the Gumball 3000 rally began at Marble Arch in London before heading for Stansted Airport to fly over to Spain. The rally then continued through Bilbao, Cannes, Milan, Hotel Buhlerhohe Castle , Nürburgring GP circuit and Hamburg, before heading back to the starting city, London. High profile entrants included Goldie in an Aston Martin V8, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and Bruce Reynolds.
The third Gumball 3000 saw the convoy travel from London through Berlin, Malbork, Vilnius, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen before returning to London for the finale. The 106 cars that participated in the rally were filmed by MTV for a Jackass Special, the episode earned MTV their highest ratings for the year. This 2001 Gumball 3000 rally was also filmed by Ruby Wax for coverage on the BBC. Entrants who featured in the 2001 rally included Formula One World Champion Damon Hill in a Lamborghini and comedian Vic Reeves who drove a Mercedes-AMG.
In 2002 the Gumball 3000 made the first coast to coast journey across America, from New York to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Checkpoints along the route included a stop at the White House in Washington DC, Memphis, Tennessee for lunch in Elvis Presley’s mansion, Graceland, Texas, Santa Ana, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Among the participants were fashion designer Donna Karan, models Jodie Kidd and Amy Wesson, and actor Matthew McConaughey.
The fifth Annual Gumball 3000 rally began in San Francisco on the east coast of America and finished Miami, Florida. The rally passed through Reno, Nevada, Las Vegas, Tucson, Arizona, White Sands, New Mexico, San Antonio, Texas, and New Orleans. Featured participants included Jackass’s Ryan Dunn, Travis Pastrana and professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, who drove in a Dodge Viper.
2004 saw the Gumball rally commence at the Eiffel Tower in Paris proceed through Biarritz, Madrid, Marbella, across the Mediterranean Sea to Marrakesh, Morocco, before returning to Barcelona for the Grand Prix and finishing in Cannes for the film festival. Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody drove a Porsche 911 in the rally alongside Ruben Fleischer, who directed 6 Days in May which documents the adventures of the 2004 rally.
Jenson Button waved the flag in 2005, starting the London to Monte Carlo Gumball 3000 rally. Entrants drove through Brussels, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Sicily, Rome and Florence, before crossing the finishing line in Monte Carlo. Models Caprice Bourret and Jodie Kidd were included in the list of celebrities that drove in the 2005 Gumball 3000 rally.
The 2006 starting flag was dropped in London where Gumballers then travelled onto Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade, before jumping on a plane in Serbia to Thailand. The route then continued through Phuket and Bangkok, before flying to Salt Lake City  and finishing with a party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Travis Barker was present on the 2006 rally as well as Martine McCutcheon who drove a pink Range Rover in an all female team.
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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 2008 the rally travelled from San Francisco to China finishing at the Beijing Olympics. The rally passed through Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas before flying to Nanjing in China and spending a night in North Korea for the Mass Games. From here the route then headed to Shanghai before crossing the finishing line in Beijing. 2008 was also David Hasselhoff's first rally where he drove the original car from ‘Knight Rider’.
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 started in the United States in Miami, passed through Atlanta, and finished in New York City. It then proceeded, 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 included AnastasiaDate, Battery Energy Drink, Betsafe, Christie's, Nicolas Feuillatte, and YouTube.
Gumball 3000 in 2015 will once again follow a transatlantic route, although, in a reverse direction compared to that done in 2014, this time will start in Europe, specifically Stockholm, and end in the United States, specifically Las Vegas. .
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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