This is where Team Darkcyd will post daily updates as the Bull Run Rally unfolds starting on July 22ending on July 29th. To get on the email list, please make sure you go to the main page of www.darkcydracing.com and sign up to get the daily updates.
Bull Run Entry Official
To friends and family,
Our latest adventure starts later this month in the event decribed below. We have evolved again and not only have a 5 car team with a chase vehicle, but will be filming the event with indash and several onboard cameras. If any of you are intrigued enough to actually think about joining us, we have one seat available in the chase vehicle. Details below
Bullrun is billed as the most glamorous rally whose goals are to party, drive and enjoy...
Fueled by an impressive schedule of public and private o drivers,events at the finest venues and hotels and high profile of the new breed of high-en?luxury lifestyle? automotive rallies. Bullrun which was started br David Green who used to handle Gumball 3000, broke off on his own in 2004 after irreconcilable differences with Maximillian Cooper of Gumball3000 fame.Each year, a hundred of the world's premier super-cars embark on the beginning of an invite-only epic eight-day rolling party across the USA, bringing together a celebrity strewn cast of characters and 'petrosexuals' for an unforgettable adventure, where, the only obligatond in the most exciting cities in America, 'Bullrunners' make their way from one checkpoint to the next, learning their destinations daily, rocking to a close each night in the party capitals of America.
In July 2005 Bullrun ran the, the 8-day USA West coast rally, Los Angeles to Los Angeles, covering 3,000 miles with overnight stops. Celebrities included Hayden Christensen as part of the official Lucas Films Star Wars team and Dennis Rodman in the GoldenPalace.com Lamborghini.
Bullrun 2006 is a coast to coast classic, New York to Los Angeles, July 21st - July 29th. Starting at secret location in Manhattan Bullrun will make it's way to Los Angeles over 7 amazing days and nights.
Amongst the drivers on the grid, Mario Andretti, Dennis Rodman and Hayden Christensen have all confirmed they want to attend again after claiming the last event was 'the best week of their lives' and we'll have some other interesting Hollywood characters coming along also.
Entry is by invitation only and Bullrun never takes more than 100 cars to make sure everyone has a good time - our parties are legendary. Registration thereafter is on a strictly first come, first served, basis.Entry fees are generally GBP 7,500 per car or $14,000, covering event entry fee,
5 star accommodation for 7 nights, all meals and parties.
Darkcyd led by Robb and Tara Rill, has put together a 5 team group to show the uninitiated what
these rallies are about. After some debate, it was decided The Twin
Turbo Lotus Esprit V8 which debuted last year in the Players Run, with
many added 007 goodies to even improve upon our success from the Players
Run event, include rear mounted built in cameras which record on
compact mini drives to catch all the action from the rear, would be
the car of choice. .The new modified Viper which was recently added to
the collection was detemined to run in next years Players Run event in
Europe where it would be considered more exotic. In addition to having
five other cars entered for our group including but not limited to a
Mercedes CLK This will be DTM, and Lamborghini Gallardo, a Bentley Gt, we have decided to
bring a fully loaded slightly modified Lincoln Navigator as a chase
vehicle for support and filming.driven by our very
capable friend and Gumball 3000 veteran Jason Garber who is flying in
from Amsterdam for the event. In addition to our filing, this event
will also be filmed by Spike Tv for a 5 part series. As usual, we will
provide updates to the rally as it unfolds to those people on our email
list, so please register before the rally if you want to be updated on
a regular basis.
Bull Run StartHello to Everyone from the Big Apple,
Alot is going on and I still have to get up early so this will be relatviely brief. Well First, I would like to say that shipping a car to Manhattan for the Bull Run isnt the easiest thing to do because of parking and receiving issues. The Hotel Gansevoort which is one of the trendiest new boutique hotels in New York located in the meat packing district would not accept the cars, so I had to get someone I could trust to handle it. A buddy if mine who runs a hedge fund was willing to help with a freind who could receive them but since we have a five car team including a chase vehicle, I switched at the last minute and took an offer from a stranger Rob Ferreti who owns Gothem Dream cars, an exotic car rental place in New Jersey that was also joining us on the run. Our team this year consists of our Twin Turbo Lotus Esprit v8, Peter and Bulent our crazy German and Turk friends as we call them, in a Carrera GT3Rs, Bart another friend in a new Bentley Gt, Alex and Danyell some friends from the Players Run as well in a Lamborghini Galardo, and last but not least Jason our Gumball friend from Amsterdam, and my right hand man Aaron who I suprised with this event as a present.
I lucked out on the choice to have the cars shipped to Rob Ferretti because both the Bentley and my Esprit were damaged in shipping. The Bentley had the ride leveling system damaged, and , my Lotus which I drove up on the Carrier myself had the transmission damaged. The driver who was polite said he did nothing wrong but how do you not blame a guy when you drive up a perfect Lotus on the rack, and they have to roll it off because it will not go into any gear. Anyway Rob who had a mechanic on staff got one car to the Betley dealer hear in Manhattan, and had him tear apart half the interior of the Lotus to determine the shift linkage became detached due to the jolting of the car being in gear during transport. All ended up well and we all owe a big thanks to Rob and his staff who actually did not even get his own car ready in time which is an 800HP corvette being built be Chuck Mallet.
The scene when we arrived at the Hotel Gansevort was pretty crazy as all the car were getting prepped with scanners, radar jammer,CB's, last minute repairs etc, and the fact that there is no parking really makes things difficult. We we lucky to be able to work it out to have the Bentley and the GT3 out in front of the hotel while the rest are in secure parking across the street. Tonight we had the drivers meeting and although all checkpoints are still secret, we determined through are own recon that we will be racing for Toronto and will end up at the Century Club somtime Saturday night. Speculation that the fist checkpoint will be either at Pocono Raceway or somewhere at Niagra falls. All cars are to be at Times Square by 8AM tommorow. You can see the launch with this link http://www.earthcam.com/usa/newyork/timessquare/
We expect after the cars are all shown off for about 2 hours since this is being fimed for Spike TV, we will actually luanch about 10AM, so if you are near NY might be worth a shot to see the action.
Lots of celebs started arriving for the event such as the infamous Dennis Rodman, Cory Feldman, Carl Louis, Boyd Coddington, Paris Hilton, Mario Andretti etc. etc. Also all the local Bull Run Celebs like the Cuban Brothers and Richard Rollins were in full carnival mode. Celeb stuff is not much of our thing so we stayed away from that action, except we did all go down to the private club for the Bullrunners at club NAIM on West 27th which was pretty crazy with everyone so excited about the start. You might want to set up a google news alert for Bullrun since I am sure we are all about to make news in several ways. some of these guys really want to win the first stage, and I personally expect several arrests.
Thats about all for now. Its 12AM and I need to get up at 6AM to get ready. Hopefully everythong goes well, and you get a reports from us once we reach Toronto
Ok-Need to make this a quick write up because a lot going on. Now 11:15 and on the way to century club in toronto. We launched from 10AM at times square and it was a zoo. film crews people everywhere-maybe a couple thousand and it really was an event. Was pissing ran right after we left and were making a run to Pocono raceway where the Nascar race is Tommorow. We made it in top 15 in the Lotus out of 110 cars and our chase vehicle actually made it 3rd. we did a parade lap at the raceway in front of all the Nascar fans, it it was pretty neat runnin on the track. We then had to run to Toronto and lots of cops eveywhere. We escaped without a hassle to to scanners and having the Chase vehicle go out ahead. Had to drop Bulent off before the border because he could not go into Canada for immigration reasons, and we stopped at Niagra falls for about 20 minutes. Made it to the toronto Hilton 21st and the Chase vehicle made it 3rd. Way to go Jason and Aaron! Most cars even now have not arrived at 11:15 and there is a big party a the century club.
We have not had time to do anything except quick dinner,had our friend Andrew from toronto meet us here and off to club, then prepare for the morning. Need to be up at 6am and probably will launch about 8am in case anyone wants to see the spectacle. We drop back in states in Detroit then head for Chicago. this is still secret but we have good recon team.
Will give more detail when I have time.
Well today was a pretty crazy day. We started off on Toronto with the whole Darkcyd group including the now infamous Navigator Chase Vehicle driven by Jason Garber and Aaron T, and were lined up in front of everyone right at the garage exit for a good launch. We all shot off and as usual the Navigator took off in a different direction for an advantage as Team Gas monkey and us in the Lotus ran through town with them breaking away with the Cl65 by running red lights. We could not go that crazy and backed off. A side note Team Gas monkey lead by Richard Rawling had his Co-driver arrested at the border and sent off to Mississippi. Next time good idea not to try and cross a border when you have a warrant out for your arrest.lol. also Hayden Christensen running in a Ferrari is out due to mechanical issues, and Bill Wu in the Lambo Murci was also out due to mechanical issues. The Studebaker which ran in the Carrara Pan Amercican was also out for the same reason.
We all ran to Windsor Ontario which is right on the border with Michigan and had no police trouble hitting some very nice speeds. The whole team ran hard but yet again the Navigator came in 4th with the leg won by Rob Ferretti of Gotham Dream cars. Congrats to Rob. We came in 21st after we were forced to refuel which lost us about 10-12 places and took 10 minutes. The range on the Lotus is only about 185 miles and the Navigator even at speed is about 350 so fuel capacity makes all the difference. Regardless Jason Garber and Aaron Taravella codriver were running 10/10th's in it and deserve great respect for their efforts.
We then all had lunch at the Windsor casino, quickly refueled the cars for the next stage which turned out to be quite troublesome. I knew my fortune cookie at lunch which said" be prepared to make changes" was going to be a prophecy. All the cars were parked in a special section on the Lake to be viewed by fans and Tara even signed some autographs, which she thought was funny since she in not famous. But they were kids and for us just laughs.
We had the coolest Police escort to special line for us for customs and all of the cars sailed right through in what normally would have taken the group of 105 cars several hours. We were second in line in the parade lap and when we made it to the U.S. it was pandemonium. Rob Ferretti broke out in the Gt 40 and everyone else went nuts after him. While we ran in the Lotus in top 10 for about the first hour and picked up spots due to attrition, we got word on the scanners that the Michigan police were organizing in front of us so I backed off. The Navigator remained in top 3 and then I saw Ferretti get pulled in the Gt 40 and completely backed off. I was running with most of the other Darkcyd cars leading Peter and Bulent in the GT3rs and Alex and Danyell in the Gallardo and only going 85 knowing there were cops ahead when BAM! my radar went nuts and a cop hiding in the grass chased me. I pulled over and he was very cool and only wrote me for a ticket doing 75 in a 70 which in Michigan means no points. He then asked me if I had a police scanner and it was illegal to listen to such frequencies in Michigan. I' thanked him very much for that info ;-) Everyone pulled over at the next exit to wait for me, and we decided based on reports that 94 West had about 25 cops staged throughout to stop us. We choose to run an alternate route which ran through Indiana instead which was much better although there were about 5 cops along that route as the Spyker got pulled among other cars. We all then ran very moderate but, were getting reports the Navigator was still #3 will 100 miles to go after it got pulled for only 85 in a 60. Jason is from Amsterdam and had to post a bond in order to be released immediately which is a strange scenario. I guess they did it to insure the ticket was paid but the bond was $1000.
When all was said and done, the Darkcyd Chase/Recon vehicle made it in 3rd to House of Blues in Chicago, while Darkcyd Racing's Bentley driven by Bart Colson which went the entire way going 74 mph on the route 94 West with about 25 cops all just pulling people left and right, came in 9th. Darkcyd's GT3Rs came in 14th and Tara and I in the Lotus made it in 24th, with the time difference between 3rd place and 24th being about 15 minutes. We got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic that was so bad stretching for 10 miles we pulled off on State Street to make up time , which we did, but ran into south side Chicago's rough neighborhoods hitting every single red light and about 15 pot holes. The Exhaust on the Lotus is hanging off and needs to be repaired before morning but the Lotus ran like a champ. The Navigator we just discovered has a puncture on the inside sidewall and has to be replaced in the morning before we depart. Will not be easy to do with 22 inch rims.
We are now about to go down for the private reception for us at the the House of Blues and eat some food. After talking to Alex Roy the infamous Rally Driver who is doing reports of the action, and writing for Jalopnik there is controversy as to who really won. I am told by unbiased people it was the Yellow RS4 but many people are claiming Team Ricci in the CL 65. I really have no clue and at this point am too tired to care.
Tomorrow we launch from here at 9AM and have good recon as to what city we head to, but I prefer not to mention, as I do not want to alert for unwarranted attention.
This morning was focused on getting the NAVI going. Aaron found a place to purchase 22 inch tires at 7AM in Chicago, and had both the rear tires replaced which were shredded from the inside sidewalls about 12 inches long. I assume this was from all his hard driving in the "gumball lane" but that is the price to pay for top 3 finishes every day. I fixed the Lotus exhaust by removing the exhaust top that sheared clean off due to vibration. So the car is simply louder now-so what. Today seemed like a long one with a lot of action and the night not done yet. We started off with a quick run to breakfast at Lake Shore motorcars about 30 miles from the House of blues in Chicago. It was an exotic car place and they even checked out vehicles to make sure they were ok on fluids etc. We hung out there for about an hour and then the famous Cuban Brothers did the funniest dance act I have seen in a long time just before we launched.We then waited for the Bullrun helicopter to come which is did after about a 15 minute delay, and then we all launched. We got cards saying to head to St Louis which was about 250 miles and almost all on the same route I 55 which I knew would bring trouble. The Navi decided it would be better to break away and go off route another 30 miles which in the end proved very smart indeed. Since we were a front runner we decided to stay on route figuring by the time they saw us, they would be organizing for the chase pack. Overall that was true but not entirely.
A Team called AMG Dolls in an E55 which I is supposed to be an all girl team did some of the stupidest moves I have seen and deserve to probably be arrested. We stayed a little ways back and after things thinned out, we were probably in the top 20. Because the range on the Lotus is only about 175 miles, we were at a disadvantage once again and stopped for fuel. Shortly after that, the police had time to organize and were everywhere. We then had one pass us and basically pace in front of us to slow us down which was effective and which I had no problem with. We then hit a construction zone, that was backed up for 10 miles and they were selectively pulling over cars that were reported to be driving erratic, Peter and Bulent in the GT3rs were concerned because they were perhaps running at speeds they should not and pulled off. We cleared the construction zone, and there was another cop that jumped on the ramp in front of us and I was shocked and pissed when he pulled me over. I was not speeding and I was being careful. He then told me I was speeding although he did not have me on radar since he was in front, and I was following too close, and did an unsafe lane change. To top it off all the equipment on the dash which included navigation, camera on a mount and scanner were illegal because they obstructed the view. This was also untrue. There was no point in arguing, because he just wanted to pull me over so I was very nice recorded all the action with my rear view cameras built in the car, and after he checked my record and determined I was clean, he wrote me three warnings, and only gave me a ticket for an illegal lane change, so I will not complain.
This is much luckier then others such as the Black Brabus CL65 which apparently we heard has quite the small time criminal record including multiple Cannibas violations, and small offenses. We havn't seen him since but do not believe he actually went to jail. I did find it interesting that the cops knew he had both a UK and a US drivers licence. After that stop , we kept getting reports of police in front of us every 5 miles or so just picking people off. Rob Ferretti in the GT40 was pulled at least once, and we made it to the Anheiser Bush factory in 13th place, which out of 100 cars ( not sure how many really left) is pretty good. We were then gassed up real quick, were forced to see a silly tour before getting the route card and were off. This game is really one of attrition and we kept getting reports of the front runners who skipped the tour, getting pulled including the Collin brothers, an Evo, and another CLS Mercedes. The Darkcyd GT3, Lambo, and us all run together and were almost assured all top 10 finishes with reports of the Darkcyd Navi in 3rd place. Cops Cops and more Cops (maybe 50 in total) forced us to chill out and do strictly the speed limit for the balance, when we arrived at the hotel we were surprised that the Navi lost one spot and ended up 3rd, and we came in 12th and 13 for the GT# and Lotus. Alex rolled in a little behind to still round out the top 20. The Darkcyd Bentley still has not made it yet.
The first car to make it was an Rs4 Audi, the red GT2 was second, and Rob Ferreti in the Gt40 third.
Tommorow is supposed to be a 700 mile hall and I believe I know where we are headed but for now, mums the word.
Well today is a day I will remember for a long time.
Whatever went wrong yesterday went right today. Currently sitting at the
Sonnenalp in beautiful Vail
At the dragstrip we raced Keith Previte in his almost
identical Black Bentley and although I beat him turning 13.75?s to be fair I
think he got a poor launch. We had a great time, with a bunch of funny races
including the race between a real police officer who was writing tickets
against the supercharged Taxi. The supercharged taxi won by far, but it was
cool to see the cop racing down the strip with his lights on. Bart then ran the
Lotus, and I joked he would destroy my car, which ended being a bad omen. The caliper
locked up, and I got stranded just two miles after we left for Vail, which was
our ultimate destination. While the flat bad was loading the car, Peter was
able to get the caliper unlocked, and so after loading up the Bentley, Bart and
I jumped in the Lotus and headed off, with Tara and Holly driving the Bentley.
I have to say two blonde girls in a black 200k dollar car, certainly attract a
lot of attention, and multiple people were taking pictures from the road. Prior
to leaving an Officer who I will cal officer x to protect his identity who
called the flatbed for us wanted a ride in the Gt3, and I am happy to report he
admitted never being so scared as he rode up to 165 with Peter in the Porsche.
Hard to believe, which is why I got the interview on tape? He then took
pictures of Peter and me against the squad car in cuffs with him pointing a
rifle at us while we are mooning him. These are silly antics, but I swear make
the funniest pictures. Bulent said he will make this picture his screensaver.
We made it to Vail and arrived to the Sonnenalp to Learn the Darkcyd Navi had won the stage, and Jason and Aaron were being interviewed for TV. We also learned that we almost lost the Darkcyd GT3rs driven by today by codriver Bulent Akaya. Just 30 minutes from Vail it started raining exceptionally hard, and while driving through the mountains pools of water collect. The tries on the Porche are not made for such weather and the Gt3 hydroplaned spinning 2 full 360's before comming to a complete stop just a few feet from the edge of a cliff. The whole incident happenned at no mo then 60mph but that should show you how dangerous even simple driving can be. Anyway, other than being shaken up, they are in good shape. Tomorrow I speculate we head for a place you can gamble drink and covort with women, and instead of being punished , you are encouraged to do more.
Until Next Time
Well today was a relatively uneventful one for the rally. After having a seriously expensive dinner for a party of 12 in our hotel last night with the Darkcyd gang, and Rob Ferretti and his partner Noah of Gotham Dream cars, in which the waiter basically treated us like we didn't exist, forcing us to act a little juvenile by throwing cold rolls at each other, after deciding the cold soup wasn't worth bothering with, and the cold food wasn't even worth complaining about, and the fact that he wouldn't even bring us water. I went to bed about 3am after my write up to get up at 7am for the todays stage. The first reports of hijinks was somebody padlocking a group of cars so they could not leave on time, which I am sure made more than a couple people mad. None of our cars were affected, and we had nothing to do with it, and such is the nature of these type of events.
As usual the Darkcyd Navi was lined up first to launch , and we were heading for Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas. Since the route is basically a straight shot and there is no viable route to save time, it was clear the Navigator would not be able to keep up with the super cars. The Gallardo was out first to do recon and left before the event started. we were told all kinds of stories about how the police were all ready since there was no place to go, and anyone doing 5 over from the rally would be arrested. I was told one Porsche that left early ran into a squad car and the driver was arrested. .I personally do not know if this was true or not, but doubt it. The Film helicopter started with us and it was quite a scene when we left Vail for I-70 west. The mountain curves and running through the tunnels with the loud engines, was an impressive assault on the senses. Tons of great film of the Bentley with the two girls driving sporting sexy Darkcyd Racing spaghetti straps, added to the appeal, while Bart and I ran in the Lotus shooting the other action with the rear camera mount. True to form ,cops were lined up about every 5 miles, and all we could do is short bursts in between. Once we got to Grand Junction, things spaced out a bit and people Like Rob Ferretti, in the modified Ford GT, really started to run with a Red Porsche 911, and an Audi driven by Kevin a former Baja 1000 winner on a motorcycle, whom I have great respect for, since I ran Baja last year in a buggy, and know how looney one must be to do such a race.
We kept things at a moderate pace, because anything above 7/10ths on roads that are not perfect, forces the tires to scrape and is dangerous from my perspective. We enjoyed shorts spurts for filming purposes, but remained low key in order to avoid any tickets. With the Gallardo and the GT3 ahead were were getting all the cop reports, which ended up being fairly numerous, and it was somewhat humorous to just listen to them talk on the scanner as we cruised on towards Vegas. Unfortunately my next report was that the Darkcyd Gallardo would not go into gear and Alex , and Danyell needed to be picked up so we cruised on in and had them in pure luxury in the back of the Girls Bentley within 15 minutes including getting a wrecker out to have the car taken to Lamborghini of Las Vegas for repairs in hopes of running tomorrow.
After that, we decided to just settle in a comfortable speed while having Peter and Bulent forge ahead with the Darkcyd chase to see about a respectable finish. This was the fist day the Navi did not arrive in the top 5, but our GT# came in 6th. The red Porsche made it first but there were reports it left 30 minutes early. It is kind of funny but there was always a big deal about getting your Lanyard scanned in and out to prevent cheating and mark your time. I really hope that this was not the result of any Rally cars. I learned in Toronto that scanning out was all about deception, when a driver made a big deal about scanning out so he would be on record, and Tara overhearing Jessie tell the other staff member to just pretend he was being scanned out. We saw two wrecks, one being an SUV rolled over and another being a trailer that Jacknifed. When we arrived in Vegas, they did not even bother with the charade of scanning at all. When unloading my car, I realized my lap top was not in the car, and I was convinced it was stolen at a rest stop when the boot was open. I was quite upset but soon calmed down to realize I had given the Chase vehicle the laptop by mistake this morning because I was so tired.
Caesars Palace as a hotel is a horrendous place to stay and I am writing from a room with a hot tub outside the bed room, and a mirror on the ceiling. this is an upgraded room, and I doubt Tara will even sleep in the sheets tonight because they seem used. To compound things, I got lost in the massive hotel trying to just get out, and needless to say, I will never stay in this crappy hotel again , even of the room was comped.
Tommorow we have a Police escort to Las Vegas speedway, and I believe were are to meet Carol Shelby, which is pretty cool, since I also have a Saleen Mustang in my little collection. Hopefully the Gallardo will be repaired by tomorrow, unless it is determined to need a clutch in which case the car is out for good. we will then head to a beautiful city on the water, before our final destination in LA.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Today was a spectacular except for one incident, that I will go into detail about later. The day started about 8:30 while we were loading the car and Alex was trying to get the Darkcyd Gallardo fixed for today's stage which was first to Las Vegas Speedway at the Carol Shelby factory. We all got a tour of the factory which includes making the AC Cobra based on the original 1965 model. In fact, they had Carol Shelby's original model which is still titled in his name on display. we also saw the Hertz GTH special cars being produced of which today the last one ever produced rolled of the line so to speak. We then took a lap on the old Las Vegas race track with all our cars, including the Darkcyd Navi. Before we switched, Alex called and the Lambo was had to have the clutch replaced, which could not be done in time, so Alex and Danyell had to fly to our ultimate destination which was San Diego. An interesting sidenote- the reason the car was not drivable was because the Lambo has a sensor on the clutch plate. When it gets too low it puts the car into limp mode, to prevent further damage to the car.
We then did a Chinese fire drill, and Bulent took the Bentley with Holly and Aaron, I took the Gt3Rs with Peter, Bart took the Lotus with Tara, and Jason our Darkcyd star who had been upsetting the front runners by beating them in a 55k dollar SUV bombed away as usual with the luggage. Our destination was Lake Havasu, and although Peter and I missed two turns on the way to the main highway, because he was too stubborn to try and figure out who to turn the volume on the Navigation, after only 20 minutes, I caught all of our group, except for the Darkcyd Navi, which I have never caught. we were pushing really hard, and the road leading to Havasu which is 95 South, and there was nothing around so I really tested some limits, since I felt we were front runners which make it much safer from being concerned about police. Any time you are middle of the pack, the police have had time to organize and you were certainly at minimum get some tickets. There are exceptions to every rule though, and today was one. I blew by a cop at speeds I think would be ill advised to publish. I immediately got ready to just pull over , even thought he did not hit his lights. Peter was freaking because he thought we were going to jail for sure, and honestly so was I. But for reasons I cannot explaining, he did not stop. So we continued on until we were blocked by a train. This allowed a couple Bullrunners to catch up, and we all quickly got into the town of Lake Havasu about 15 minutes later. The road were supposed to use to arrive at our destination was South Mccullough Blvd, and our pit stop was a little island hut. The problem was that the Navigation could not distinguish properly the fact that South Mccullough was directly on top of North Mccullough, by being over a bridge confused everyone's navigation and kept putting people i a loop. as a result, pandemonium broke out all over town as we people we driving in every direction to solve the problem. We finally got directions from Jason in the Navi and Peter and I found it and arrived about 13th. While we waited for the Bentley and the Lotus, we grabbed some snacks and the Red Porsche 928 arrived called team Canada. The girl in the Car asked the group who owned the lotus, and I responded that I did. She then called me an Asshole basically , until I informed her, I was not daring my own car. When Tara and Bart finally arrived, I learned that about 4 cars were following the Lotus when It was trying to turn around to get on the proper street and instead of following in a u turn they all cut the Lotus off to beat it to the checkpoint. I informed Bart about her attitude, and he went up to her and her husband to discuss, and while he was cool , the wife did not ever seem satisfied, even though our car was the one that was cut off.
Anyway, we decided to Chinese Fire drill again, and I took Aaron and Holly with me in the Bentley, with Peter and Bulent back in the Porsche, and Bart and Tara remaining ion the Lotus. after a quick gas stop, we found an alternative route to what most would take and took off. the roads were isolated undulating and fast. I quickly lost the others, even thought the GT3 left ahead of us to do recon. We went through some beautiful mountains, an area called the sand Dunes near the Mexican border, and then rolling hills followed by the beautiful wind turbines in the back ground. The Darkcyd Navi kept reporting cope ahead and for the most part were were ok by the time we saw them. Since their was so many people taking different routes, it was difficult for them to organize. After one pit stop at a gas station that took no more than 5 minutes, we eventually caught up with the Darkcyd Navi even though the left the first checkpoint 20 minutes earlier. there is a governor on that car limiting it to 110, and the Bentley obviously has no such limitations. I then caught a new Z06 and silver Porsche, and new that being only 75 miles outside of San Diego I was in contention for top 3. Since I knew I would take it easy on the last day, I knew this was my chase to help Jason with another top 5 finish. The girl in the z06 who is doing the run with her fraternal twin brother, passed me like I was going 50 and I quickly learned she must be British because when she was in the fast lane she always put her left blinker on to encourage others to move out of her way. Knowing that would not help since most Americans have never been to Europe, I passed her and it was a sprint to the finish. We called Alex who was waiting at the checkpoint, which was a train station, for better directions based on Traffic, since he is from San Diego, and with the Audi driven by "skinny" by the producers of a new movie about the Pan American rally, Brent and Kevin for chasing me to the finish, we made un en expected right turn and beat them to the finish to record my first top 5 finish for Team Darkcyd, and the only time I beat the Darkcyd Navi.
We then got a tour of a private train, owned by Pual Mitchell whom when I met did not realize who he wask and got a nince tour of his Train car with full kitchen, multiple bedrooms, and a living room. I also met the girl in the Z06, who was from Europe as I thought, and learned she was arrested only the day before for excedding 105MPH.
I then got the call I should have dreaded. Tara called to tell me the Lotus engine gasket blew at very high speeds with they were dog fighting in the mountains with our GT3. My only concern was getting them a flatbed to get the car to a secure place and get both Bart and Tara, quickly to the W hotel which is where we were staying. If anyone on this email list from the Lotus group can give me a good mechanic to ship the car too, I would really appreciate the help. Perhaps Karl Franz can suggest someone in Florida. when thy eventually got to the hotel, I learned how aggressive they were being. Bart got the car up to 165 and the GT3 driven by a very capable German could not keep up. He then saw oil spewing from the rear very badly and quickly like an oil slick from a James Bond Movie. I can't blame the car, which has been so good too me and taken so much hard driving. Perhaps Bart will just add the car to his collection in its current state like a retired race car, and just let me have the Bentley in return-lol
We all then went to the special party held for us at the W on their second floor "Beach" which is one of the coolest spots I have ever been at a hotel. we all finally just got in, and it is passes 3 AM as I write this.
Tomorrow, we head to a race track, and then to the end in La. Thanks to everyone for all the encouraging emails, and we hope to see some of you tomorrow night in LA.
Thats all folks!
Well I have to say leaving the W hotel in San Diego was difficult to do because we all enjoyed the hotel so much. the private party held on the second floor on the special rooftop bar was truly an experience I will not forget for a long time, and this comes from someone who does not drink. These events for me are not so much about driving, as about sharing a common experience with like minded people, from various walks of life. Bonding over stories about cops, speed, mishaps, all bring people closer together and this is the epitome of friendship. It really felt like the W was our final destination even though we had one more day to go , by heading to LA.
The day started with a big mishap. The previous night which ended quite late for us that ended up at "the Beach" in which we had the equivalent of a private cabana in the corner of the area where we had a video camera, and camera bag was left by Peter and Bulent. All the pictures they had taken on the rally were on that camera, and more importantly both of their passports. While I gassed up the Bentley, Peter and Bulent tried unsuccessfully to find the bag with lost and found. since I was driving the GT3rs for the fist checkpoint it was their responsibility to gas up that car, which proved to be somewhat problematic later on.
Our first checkpoint was California Speedway in Fontana , which I was at on the Players Run event. as usual everyone broke from the hotel like a shot out of a gun racing to the speedway. Bart who was not familiar with the Navigation system , was having trouble getting the stupid device to even turn on , as I am racing up on ramps at Challenge Cup speeds hoping I am even heading in the right direction. Traffic is pretty dense, but flowing and the only way I can describe our driving was being in a video game. Keep in mind the guy is to be ahead of the pack, because if you are not the police who will have had time to organize, will reign you in regardless of whether you are speeding or not simply because you are part of the rally with sponsor decals all over the car, and numbers. The Navigation is still not working, so Bart is working the phones while I am barreling in and out of traffic, like some version of So based on the police scanner, we clearly determine we are one of the front runners as they are organizing to grab cars about 8 miles behind us. We also hear on the scanner they are requesting air support and although they would normally be only a couple minutes away, they need to refuel before doing so, thus allowing us about a 15 minute windows to make it before we have any issues.
This is where the previous morning events come back to haunt us. As I am driving like Sterling Moss trying to procure a a victory, I see the gas alert light go on. now we started with a half a tank which Peter assured me would be enough, but traveling at such speeds we have emptied the tank, and not only are the police going to catch up with us, we are going to be pushing the car. It is also about this time when Bart gets one of the funniest calls I can remember. he gets a call from Kylie his daughter and very calmly informs her that we are currently busy being chased by the police and could he call her back in a few moments. What was funny is the even keeled non chelonte manner in which he informed her, compounded by the absurdity of the situation. Two upstanding productive member of society with no criminal history racing a Porsche in La to get to a checkpoint, for no other reason then we enjoy the thrill of the chase. now in reality, to clarify we were not specifically being chased ourselves, and had a cop caught up with us I would have pulled over immediately.
At about the same time we hear on the Scanner, that they are on the look out for a Black Navigator traveling at a high rate of speed which I can only assume is Jason. It is really weird to have your car mentioned on the scanner , but such is the nature of these events.. So we pull off after informing Jason that we believe he is a wanted man so he can take a detour. We then pull off for gas which is not close to coasting on fumes. As soon as we make a right off the exit, we see a motorcycle cop who looks at us like we are aliens but does not stop us since we are not speeding. I then call Peter, curse at him for not leaving enough fuel in the car and hang up.
Because of the fuel stop, we are now behind everyone and it would be dangerous to continue on the same route, so we take a detour, and arrive at California Speedway about 15 minutes behind the main pack with no issues. After about an hour we have the requisite drivers meeting and do some laps behind the pass car in with Aaron and I in the GT3Rs. The girl behind me was Anabelle who got arrested, although her twin brother was driving and he could use some driving lessons. and had that z06 not had stability control , he clearly would have lost it entirely. Instead he just offroaded the car sideways. Tara tracked the Bentley and then we were off to the final destination which was the Beverly Hills Hilton. Unfortunately, the final checkpoint was supposed to be on Wilshire Blvd but because the group wreaked so much havoc running from one side of the country to the other, the city of Beverly Hills pulled the permit.
Based on that info we planned just to roll into the hotel nice and slow since it was already anti climatic. But adventure begins when tires start going as planned. The tires could take no more on the Porsche and Bart noticed the tire was going flat quickly. We immediately pulled off and got to the first gas station. The problem was the GT3Rs is a car not even sold in the US and the tire on it made for only two cars in the world. So 15 miles from the hotel we were stuck. To make a long story short, we called a flat bed and 2 blocks from the hotel we put Peter and Bulent in the car on the Flatbed put the Bentley in front , rolled down the windows with our arms hanging out, turned on the best track number 6 which was rap music from the entourage Cd, and rolled in style to be seen by nobody since we were 2 hours late. Ha- how anti climatic is that.
We then had a great party at Social holly wood on Sunset blvd. we had a crew of 12 so with no ability to grab a cab Alex rented us a Black stretch 600 Benz, and we rolled in with style. We had Kevin from Players run join us and the funny thing was since it was a party closed to members outside of the event, we gave him a lanard to get him in and they gave him an award as a driver. Ha! We drove 4000 miles and he gets an award for driving to the party. It was disappointing that Jason did not get an award for his efforts and to some degree it was politcal. Such is life. We then rehashed all the stories and heard new ones. Tara was exhasuted and Alex and Danyell wanted to party so after seeing the Cuban Brothers perform, we took the limo to drop them off at another club and called it a night.
I currently sit in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hilton with the whole Darkcyd crew and we are getting ready to roll to lunch . I will later do a write up comparing the events and my thoughts.
Comparison of Rally Events
Thanks for all the feedback, and I am glad so many people have enjoyed reading the updates and viewing the pictures either through our email list or through our site at www.darkcydracing.com of our latest Bullrun event. Both the Lotus and the now infamous Navi are now being shipped back to Florida from Cali, and as soon as I get the Lotus back I will determine the extent of the damage by Bomber Bart on the Vegas to Cali leg. Thanks also to Karl Franz for his suggestions on getting the Lotus fixed. With that said, more than a couple people who have read about our crazy adventures have asked my to compare the different rally events, either because they themselves want to participate in one, or just to get some perspective. I will try to provide the main differences, because they are all somewhat different, and certain events are more suitable than others.
Gumball 3000- This is the first major event we did, and what an eye opener it was. It was basically the first modern Cannonball type event which started in Europe by Maximillian Cooper in 1999, and has been to the states a couple of times, although it is mostly known in Europe, where it is as well known as any motorsport event Of the three major Rallies which are Gumball 3000, Players Run, and Bullrun, this is clearly the hardest, and yet the most well known. We drove for the first 24 hours straight to the first checkpoint in Marbella, Spain with only a 15 minute stop in Madrid. Also the fact that that rally almost always starts at night with all night driving depriving people of sleep, is an assault on the psyche. Maximillian Cooper likes to consider this first stage the endurance and weeding out stage. When we were done with that first stage, a full 50 cars out of 180 were unaccounted for. I think the fact that he saves one nights hotel costs for over 400 people is the main reason for doing this, plus the weeding out process saves the organization quite a bit of money. Somewhat a similar philosophy of the Paris Dakar, although one cannot compare such events. The main reason to do Gumball is to understand what it is like to be a Rock Star for a week. Rolling into cities such as Vienna for example, with an estimated 200k fans, or even the starting point in London this year with over 100k fans to see the launch, is an experience few people in the world can ever understand. With that said, the experience involves so much driving in the fewest days, there is little time to socialize and meet the 400 or so other insane entrants from all walks of life, which is one of the main reasons you do such an event. Nobody who does such events is really normal, and to have the opportunity to meet so many other eclectic, eccentric people, is the major attraction. It also does its best to attract as many stars to the event as possible like Tony Hawk, Daryl Hannah, Adrian Brody, Jason Priestley, Jodie Kidd, and lots of B listers. I couldn't care less about this aspect, but apparently others like the star quality. They always hype people that are supposed to be on the event and never show, but do consistently bring in others. Gumball has also gotten a little out of touch on pricing in my opinion with entry fees now approaching 70k dollars just to enter. It is almost impossible to justify such costs, especially considering the other alternatives, which previously did not exist. regardless, it is a once and a lifetime experience if money is no object.
This is the upscale version of modern Cannonball Rally Events organized by Markus Lex, after he did Gumball 3000 and sought ways to improve it with his first event in 2003. He continued the tradition of being selective to the types of people who would run in the event so he had a good eclectic group, but also made some significant improvements. One seemingly easy one that no other organization has done is have a luggage van. While this does not seem significant, when you are running several thousand miles in an exotic sports car, with about as much luggage space as an overnight bag and a toothbrush, it is shocking to me only his organization handles this. To top it off, Markus' staff made sure that all your luggage was actually in your room prior to arrival. When one has run 5,6,700 miles a day, its nice to not have to worry about hauling all your crap up to the room, so you can just turn around and haul it back down in the morning.
Markus and his group focused the most on treating people like customers and not just people who should be thankful that they were admitted to the event. His event also focuses on other cool things such as police escorts throughout to track events etc., and incorporating helicopters and Yachts into it to keep things different. The hotels involved were all the highest quality and most consistent such as the Fairmont San Francisco, and the Mondrian in La for example. Gumball had us sleep on the most disgusting overnight ferry with no air conditioning , and decrepit conditions crossing the Straights of Gibraltar, as an example of accommodations that were entirely not acceptable for the type of "glamorous" event it is billed as. Markus was the most approachable organizer of the event and truly wanted to put interesting people with each other. Max in contrast, would not even return a phone call in Spain when another fellow Gumballer needed help and had a question about crossing into Africa that only Max could answer. The main negative for Americans is that up until now all the Players Run events have been in the U.S., meaning tickets and potential arrest are significant liabilities. I have good reason to believe next year will be in Europe, so this will not be issue for any American participants. The other small drawback although is it is the shortest in time frame by 1-2 days. With all the prep that goes into participating for these rallies, including prepping, shipping, and getting the necessary issues resolved to participate, another couple days would make it more worth it. It is also the most social event by far, with more time to actually meet and share stories of the days with other entrants in order to make the most out of participating in such an event. I can honestly say I have met several people because of Players' Run that I expect will be life long friends. Without the opportunity to interact with people, this would not have been possible. It is also the cheapest ironically, and the costs were about 10k last year for entry, which is ironic since you get the highest level of hotels, service etc. If Europe is confirmed for Pr 07, I expect we will do this event with our entire Darkcyd group.
Bullrun which is the most recent event we did, was a pleasant surprise. founded by Andrew Duncan and David Green, this is the second most high profile event, which is a spinoff from Gumball 3000 in which David Green was Max's right hand man for many years. After Team Darkcyd entered the 5 car team, I only later saw the movie of the 04 event, and was dreading my decision. The 04 movie showed of bunch of immature juvenile delinquents constantly making crude sexual gestures, and lots of topless women also making crude and stupid gestures, that I wouldn't want to see for free. If this was emblematic of the event I was going to be on, I wanted no part. fortunately it was nothing like the 04 movie. The longest event of the 3 major modern rally events was 8 days total, was much cooler and hipper with a diverse crowd. The driving was not as insane as Gumball since it was spread out but we did end up with over 4k miles on the event. Because it was cross country, a lot of the roads were interstate which could not be helped. players run, designed the itinerary based on great roads. Also, like Gumball the problem was not enough time to socialize with all the interesting people to really share experiences and bond. Like Gumball and probably because this event was being filmed for spike TV, there was a focus on star power, and people like Carl Lewis, Mario Anderetti, Hayden Christiansen, and Corey Feldman were technically on the rally but only Lewis did the entire trip. I only saw Feldman at lunch after the first checkpoint freaked out that it was not quite the party he expected and with no navigation, maps, enough gas, he seemed very stressful. I never saw him again at that point and assume the stress put him back in rehab. He later showed at the final party in La and I am positive he flew there by plane.
The hotels were inconsistent but better than Gumball, and while the Hotel Gansevort, and the W in San Diego were top notch, Ceasers Palace and most of the others were just blasé. They also did some unique things which should be noted such as a special police escort to get us back across the border which normally would have taken all of us a half a day, and by including stage acts such as the Cuban Brothers to spice things up, it sure did bring some unique aspect to prove this is more than an auto rally. It is also competitively priced at about 14k,although that still will prohibit most entrants. I would do this event again, and the only thing they are sorely lacking is a luggage van. both Andrew and Dave were approachable, and seemed like good guys.
In summary, all of the events have something to offer and I think all of them could be considered once in a life time experiences for many. none of them are easy, with lots of driving and little sleep, and the potential for tickets, arrest, or in some cases worse, but for the adventurous auto enthusiast should be tried at least once if for no other reason than to say you did it. to read the daily summaries of these events as they were written in real time, and to see pictures and video, please visit www.darkcydracing.com . I also am glad to answer any questions regarding the events.