GUMBALL 3000 TAKES US FROM NYC TO LA

Where do I begin?

Gumball 3000. A phrase known to all car enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike made its annual 3,000 mile journey once again this year starting off in NYC and ending in Los Angeles.

Gumball began their inception in 1999, when founder and fellow Gumballer, Maximillion Cooper decided to invent a car rally that wasn’t just a rally but a road adventure unlike any other in its class.

Gumball this year alone brought together more then 100 of the worlds most desirable, exotic, beautiful and most coveted cars in the world with drivers from over 40 countries around the globe.  Every entry cost approximately $40,000 for a car of two people and included a passport to a week of unlimited parties, fun, and memory staking adventure.

All the “Gumballers” met this year in NYC where I had the opportunity to join them as they embarked on a journey of 3000 miles, 7 days, 2 counties, and 12 states with some of the best entertainment, music, and events in the Western and Eastern hemispheres.

It all began on the afternoon of May 24th, as I stepped foot in the W Hotel in Times Square for the official registration and meet and greet with the Gumballers I knew that it was going to be a 24 hour series of events to remember.

Two floors were filled with Gumballers socializing, being interviewed, receiving their giveaways, catching up with friends, and more importantly talking about their plans for the upcoming ride of their lives. Everyone from David Hasselhoff to The Dudesons was there and it wasn’t lacking anything. Past Gumball3000 events have featured the likes of David Guetta and Cypress Hill to Adrien Brody and Bam Margera. Sports stars, thrill seekers, business mogels and rappers alike have graced the Gumball name and this year wasn’t any different.

I found myself amidst of group of multilingual fanatics that had a thrill for fast cars and adrenaline; and it was contagious.

The afternoon started to fade into the evening as the Gumballers had to pick up their cars from the assigned garages to line them up on Times Square, as New York City’s center got closed up to display the most beautiful machines most eyes have ever seen.

The day continued through midnight where I found myself at 1oak, one of the most prestigious nightclubs in Manhattan for the exclusive launch party of Gumball 3000 2012. It was a night featuring free flowing bottles of Dom Perignon, Grey Goose galor, music to make the most strictest individual move, and a networking circuit of just-crazed-genuinely fun- people. To top it all off as the night was about to come to a close, Eve herself got on the mic and started rapping and singing to her fellow Gumballers! No one wanted to leave as it was a night that just kept getting better and better.

After all was said and done, I had the chance to meet and interview members from various teams from all across the globe and I would like to share with you the inside story from the eyes and minds of a few of the Gumballers themselves.

 

TEAM HABIBEEZ

The UAE had their very own team named none other then team “Habibeez”. Comprised of 13 of the nations greatest car enthusiasts, Team Habibeez had some of the most extravagant vehicles including a Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe as the teams head car, two Rolls Royce Ghosts, a Mercedes McLaren SLR, as well as a Mercedes GL450.

The Rolls Royce Drophead as well as the two Ghosts had custom designed stickers by the acclaimed and noted fashion designer Christian Audigier by special request and made quite the impression on other Gumballers and was noted as one of the best designed team cars amongst the 100 plus vehicles there.

I had the chance to interview one of the members of Team “Habibeez“, Amar Sagar and got a look into his side of being a Habibi on Gumball 3000.

Tell me about yourself? What is your name, where do you call “home” and what line of work are you in?

My name is Amar Sagar and I am Managing Director of Three Star Jewelery which is a family run business of diamonds trading and retail which was started in 1953. We have chain stores at major malls and prominent locations in Dubai.

I am Indian but my family has been here for more then 50 years. Dubai is home to me as I was born here and brought up here.

When did you first hear about Gumball?

I got introduced to Gumball 3000 by Maximillion Cooper (President of Gumball) himself at a local car rally in Dubai called Arab Run in 2008 and since then I have been following Gumball.

How did you join “Team Habibeez” and is this your first rally with them?

I met the main member of Team “Habibeez” in 2008. Early this year him and myself and the other Team “Habibeez” members met for dinner and decided to do Gumball together as we all shared the same cars and thus Team “Habibeez” was formed in January 2012.

What does “Team Habibeez” mean to you?

“Habibeez” is less of a Team and more of a family to me now with its members sharing the same passion and enthusiasm for cars and rallies. For Team Habibeez the sky is the limit.

If you’ve been in Gumball before- which years did you enter?

This was the first year for me.

What was your car this year?

Rolls Royce Ghost

Who were your co-drivers?

Vicky Sagar (my elder brother)

What interests you about Gumball 3000?

The whole package which includes the drive, socializing with people sharing the same passion for cars, and basically living in a different world for a week.

What is your favorite element of the rally?

Except for getting speeding tickets I think the drive from one city to another with the team and the Gumballers, as we spent most of our time on the roads.

What was your favorite location to drive to?

 My favorite location was from Vegas To LA

What was the biggest highlight of this year?

For team “Habibeez” It would be the number of speeding tickets.

What was your best and worst moment from this year?

I can’t pick up one best moment as everyday was getting better, but the best part of each day was the welcome that we used to get from thousands of people cheering and screaming “Habibeez”.

The worst moment I would say was when 2 of our cars broke down on our way to Las Vegas from Santa Fe.

Are you involved in any other rallies? Like Goldrush?

Arab Run which was in Dubai. Internationally Gumball was my first.

Will you be joining next year?

This is one of the things that I wouldn’t miss if time permits.

If you could sum up this years Gumball 3000 in one phrase, what would it be?

7 days and nights of unlimited fun in the best cities with the best people, its like living a dream.

The UAE and us here are PingDubai are thrilled that we had representation from our grand city and are proud of their involvement in such a great event!

TEAM DRIFT

Tell me about yourself?

Hey my name is Derek “Buttsy”Butler and I am from Waterford City, Ireland. My nickname Buttsy comes from the city I’m from. If your surname is Butler then your automatically know as “Buttsy”.

I still call Ireland home although I spend a lot of time travelling which see’s me home once every 2 months!

My line of work is something which I love, I am a professional Drift Racing driver for Monster energy and I couldn’t wish to be with such a cooler company!

When did you first hear about Gumball?

I first heard about Gumball many years ago as I have always been a bit of a car freak it was always a dream of mine to do it!

What team are you with?

My Team is known as Team Drift as were always the ones doing the craziest driving and drifting stunts on the Rally which even includes drifting through a Gas Station and around a Bugatti Veyron!

Who are your team members?

This years Team member was owner of Lutz Performance and friend Jim Martinez who built this crazy Turbo BMW for the rally! Car was insane. I also normally drive with Norwegian drift champion Kenneth Moen and next year I will ride with LA Photographer Estevan Oriol.

How did you join this particular team and is this your first rally with them?

This year was my 4th Consecutive rally with different team members each year! I like to change things up now and again!

If you’ve been in Gumball before- which years did you enter?

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

What was your car this year?

Widebody Carbon Fibre BMW M3 E46 with a 1200hp Turbo Charged engine! Thing was a beast!

Who were your co-drivers?

Owner of Lutz Performance, Jim Martinez from Tampa Florida.

What interests you about Gumball 3000?

The cars, the route, and the parties, but especially the people! I have met some of my best friends through the rally.

What is your favorite element of the rally?

The mixture and variety of people on this rally! The people would not normally mix in similar circles if it wasn’t for the rally! Never thought I would be mixing with Royalty or playing drinking games with skate legend Tony Hawk.

 What was your favorite location to drive to?

First years Rally LA to Miami was my favorite as it was my first Gumball plus my first time driving across USA.

What was the biggest highlight of this year?

Probably either the start line in Times Square NY or the INDY 500! Vegas was also a great highlight, too many to think of!

What was your best and worst moment from this year?

Worst moment was being last to leave every morning! Walking out to start grid and all the cars already gone on the road, I think my favorite parts (the parties) were to blame for this though!

Are you involved in any other rallies? Like Goldrush?

Although I have been asked to attend other rallies I really don’t think any could compare to Gumball for the Route and the variety of people.

Will you be joining next year?

Yes! Its an addiction I have now! Only thing I have to do in life is die and do Gumball each year.

 If you could sum up this years Gumball 3000 in one phrase, what would it be?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

TEAM GUMBALL RALLY FIGHTERS

Tell me about yourself?

My name is Saba Aberi…. I live in Sweden and I’m a de-icing manager at Stockholm International Airport.

When did you first hear about Gumball?

First time was year 2008.

Who are your team members?  

Romuald Clariond

How did you join this particular team and is this your first rally with them?

Romuald Clariond called me and asked if I wanted to do this years rally with him….and we are doing it for the first time together.

If you’ve been in Gumball before- which years did you enter?

Yes. 2010-2011 and now 2012.

What was your car this year?

A off road car named Rally Fighter

Who were your co-drivers?

Romuald Clariond

What interests you about Gumball 3000?

The cars and the most important…all the great people . My Gumball family.

What is your favorite element of the rally?

The people

What was your favorite location to drive to?

Toronto

What was the biggest highlight of this year?

The start on Time Square was amazing!!!

What was your best and worst moment from this year?

Best moment was day 1 on the rally….and bad moment was on Canadian/ American boarder!! Horrible!

Are you involved in any other rallies? 

No….Im a Gumballer. Nothing else….

Will you be joining next year?

Don’t know yet. Hopefully!

If you could sum up this years Gumball 3000 in one phrase, what would it be?

Fun….hot like no where else !!! Gumbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall!!

TEAM DELARON

Tell me about yourself? 

We are Team Delaron. Delaron is lifestyle

What is your name, where do you call “home” and what line of work are you in?

Gary Nguyen and Ron James. Our businesses are in skin care, clothing and vodka.

When did you first hear about Gumball?

In 2009

How did you join this particular team and is this your first rally with them?

Team Delaron joined Gumball 3000 since 2009, this is our 4th year.

What was your car this year?

White Rolls Royce Phantom

What interests you about Gumball 3000?

Amazing people we met on Gumball.

What is your favorite element of the rally?

Meeting people from different backgrounds.

What was your favorite location to drive to?

Indy500

What was the biggest highlight of this year?

The Indy500. I haven’t seen that many people in one place like The Indy500

What was your best and worst moment from this year? 

Best: Passing the Canadian border without registration

Worst: The rally end in LA. Team Delaron can do this rally 365 days/years

Are you involved in any other rallies? Like Goldrush?

Yes, we were platinum sponsors for Goldrush last year.

Will you be joining next year?

Hell yeah!

If you could sum up this years Gumball 3000 in one phrase, what would it be?

Gumball for life!

It’s safe to say that not a regrettable moment happened within the 3000 miles it took to drive from NYC to LA. Every individual that I interviewed and spoke to had two things in common: Love of the people at Gumball, and Love of Gumball itself.

Gumball 3000 is not easy to explain. It has been known to attract the attention of some of the worlds most influential media stations. Vanity Fair Magazine has called it “the most rock ‘n’ roll car rally ever staged!”. CNN, BBC, MTV, SKY and FOX all air the rally and show the annuall produced televised series that is acclaimed as “one of the most watched car related shows on television”. We here at PingDubai wouldn’t disagree with either of those statements and would continue to say that it is a week long event unlike any other that we’ve seen, one for the masses to adorn, and ultimately a thrill!

I can honestly go on record and say that I have met some of the greatest and most unique individuals through being a part of Gumball 3000 in NYC and cannot wait to cover it next year as we travel yet another 3000 miles. Let the countdown begin.