Our Gumball adventure started at 27 May 2015 at the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco where a few supercar owners gathered for the arrival of the Gumball 3000 rally. The participants were expected around seven. At seven, crowds were big and full of enthusiastic kids and of course their parents.
Of course, as we know Gumball, they didn’t arrive at the planned time. It happened in Germany, it happened in Amsterdam and it also happened in San Francisco. Luckily, the fans couldn’t complain because there was music, caps were handed out and a lot of great cars showed up at the parking lot across the grid. Bayareanady was present with his McLaren P1 and 458 Speciale. He was accompanied by the men from Stancenation and BlackList. Around eight the first cars of the rally arrived and around nine the Pagani Huayra of Max Cooper arrived. Around ten the first real participants arrived but most of the fans already left. Around eleven still only about twenty cars were present at the grid. A lot of participants decided to head to their hotels immediately instead of parking on the grid.
The second day started at the Fairmont in SanFrancisco, the hotel where the participants stayed during the night. When we arrived we were surprised with the presence of the Ferrari F50, the three Dutch AMG GT-S and the Dutchie noxxin in his green chrome 458. He told us that he’s spotted quite often and says hi to everybody who made some nice photos of his Ferrari!
To get from the hotel to the grid, Gumball organized shuttle buses. Completely in the San Francisco spirit, this were cable-car buses! Meanwhile it was around eight in the morning, an hour before the planned departure time and there was a lot of activity in and around the hotel. The streets were filled with the sound of revving supercars and a few participants did burnouts. The SFPD soon found out and a few officers were sent to the hotel so most of the participants decided to head for the grid.
On the grid itself there was a lot of activity, people were being interviewed, cars were checked and everybody was getting ready for the long rid to Los Angeles. Around nine, the first cars departed. When we stepped into our car we saw Jon Olsson and Team Galag leaving. We decided to follow them. It was relatively quiet on the streets so it was easy to keep up with them. Olsson and Galag decided to drive another route than the planned one. The official route was via the picturesque Highway One and the less special 101. We followed Highway 5, this is a faster and more quiet route. Our convoy consisted the McLaren 12C of Braven Products, two Betsafe presscars, a BMW M4, Jon Olsson his ’67 Camaro SS and Team Galag’s SLR!
In addition to the Netherlands and Germany we saw no cop on our route so we had no problems flooring the pedal. After five hours straight driving we arrived at the ButtonWillow Raceway where a lovely lunch was waiting for us. We were one of the first cars to arrive. At the track we found Dodge Vipers and Hellcats waiting for some passenger laps for the participants. A few other cars were parked as eye-candy during the lunch. Dodge brought a one-off version of the Viper and two fans brought their Bugatti Veyron and McLaren P1.
After a lovely lunch, a chicken wrap and a brownie, we decided to already head for LA. It was around 40 degrees at the track and that was way too hot for us.
On our way to LA we were overtaken by several Gumballers who also decided to already ride for LA. The rest of the day passed without any problems. Slowly but surely the participants arrived at the Staples Center. A lot of car clubs in LA also showed up to show their cars to the crowd. The highlight of the grid was definitely the Koenigsegg Agera HH, which was used for Lewis Hamilton’s arrival.
Later that night Salomondrin arrived with some cars to perk up the streets of Los Angeles. At that moment, three Porsche 918s, two P1s, two Huayras, an F50 and a Koenigsegg were present at the grid.
We decided that the ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles was a good thing and that’s why again drove together with Team Galag and Jon Olsson. We met them at the grind and planned our route of that day to Las Vegas. Because Jon didn’t have any air-conditioning in his Camaro we decided to take the direct route to Las Vegas. As expected the traffic in Los Angeles was very busy but we managed to keep up with each other and after half an hour we left Los Angeles behind us. Once we left the city we floored the pedals to our first stop. When we arrived we found out that we were four hours ahead of schedule and that’s why we decided to lunch. Normally a Gumball lunch means a snickers and a Red Bull and that’s it. But not this time.
Sultan, of Team Galag, told us there was an In-n-out Burger nearby. In-n-Out is a fastfood chain which is known for their quality and the animal-style. We were asked to find out where this In-n-Out exactly was and had to lead to group to the restaurant. After 15 minutes we arrived at the In-n-Out and we were treated on a lunch by Team Galag. After a relaxed lunch it was about time to head to the Betsafe shoot. Team Betsafe organized a photoshoot at a deserted water park in the middle of the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They organized a beautiful location, the only thing missing was water. In the warm sun, a temperature of 41 degrees and no shade it was quite hard to stay motivated. Luckily we brought a lot of water which resulted in a row of participants who were begging for some water. During the shoot we heard that Lewis Hamilton was aground without gasoline in Death Valley. This amused much of the other participants. The chopper from Betsafe meanwhile set off to take some photos and videos from the air. Last minute, they decided that Jon Olsson had to do some donuts on the dry terrain. The result from the sky is probably amazing but for everybody else the result was a dirty car.
After the shoot we were forbidden to drive together with Olsson and Team Galag to Las Vegas. “The chopper is about to film that road and when we see you in our camera only once, you will get a fine of 7500 dollar”. That’s why we decided to wait another ten minutes before we started our ride to Las Vegas. Once we arrived there it wasn’t clear what was about to happen. A two-day festival was scheduled but eventually canceled because of the low show-up. The activities were now scheduled for the first night only. A skate demo of Tony Hawk was planned together with a show from Bun B and DeadMau5. Unfortunately, only around 150 people showed up. Just like in Los Angeles, the Gumball organization expected a much bigger happening. The second day of the festival was canceled and the Gumball went out like a candle.