2008 Rally - Route and News
The route is going to be from San Francisco to Beijing via with a 'special' entrants only stop to Pyongyang. It is planned to be held in August from the 8th till the 16th.
The eight-day 3000-mile route will embrace the contrasting cultures of the east and west, whilst also uniting over 40 nationalities of participants taking part, and truly benchmarking itself at the forefront of partying, exploring, and the promotion of eco friendly transportation. 120 of the worlds most amazing vehicles will participate, and as well as the usual display of stunning supercars, the 2008 Gumball will also showcase and encourage vehicles pushing the technological boundaries to create an environmentally friendly and safer future.
Police seek ban after Gumball Rally deaths
Traffic police from across Europe will join this week to call for a ban on transcontinental road races after the deaths of two people and dozens of incidents in which drivers have had cars confiscated or lost licences for speeding.
Police will share intelligence on the races and carry out covert surveillance on the biggest events, which involve driving for up to 1,000 miles each day and partying most of the night.
Organisers who are found to encourage speeding and reckless driving, even implicitly, will face fines and even jail following serious accidents.
A body that represents senior traffic police officers from across Europe, Tispol, is acting in response to the growing popularity of events that describe themselves as “rallies” or “runs” but which involve owners of high-powered cars racing each other on public roads.
The organisers claim that participants are told to obey all traffic rules and often describe the events as “cultural tours”. But Tispol believes that the organisers show very little interest in ensuring that drivers behave themselves and set schedules and routes which encourage them to break the limit.
A British millionaire is being held in prison in Macedonia after an elderly couple were killed in a crash with his Porsche as he took part in the annual Gumball Rally this month.
Nicholas Morley, 30, from Bowden, Cheshire, has been charged with dangerous driving after being arrested while allegedly trying to leave Macedonia by private jet.
Dutch police also seized a Porsche and a Ferrari being driven by Gumball contestants. The Porsche was stopped after overtaking on the hard shoulder and exceeding 125mph.
The Ferrari’s driver had his licence confiscated for exceeding 110mph near Amsterdam. His co-driver took over but was then caught doing a similar speed and police confiscated the car.
Gumball’s organisers describe it as “an excuse for aristocratic delinquency” but say that there is no prize for coming first.
However, two women who took part in 2005 won the “spirit of Gumball” prize after getting stopped seven times for speeding.
At a meeting in London this week, Tispol will call for three races with British organisers, Gumball, Cannonball and Carbon Black, to be banned from public roads.
A Tispol spokesman said: “We will be calling for such rallies, which pose a danger in terms of speed, dangerous driving and fatigue, to be banned across Europe. To this end, information is currently being gathered and approaches will be made to the European Commission and national governments.”
Tispol will propose that rally organisers should be obliged to give police details of their routes to allow spot checks to be made on drivers’ speed.
It is also concerned that events which set targets for average speed encourage participants to drive too fast and for too long.
The Cannonball Run Europe, which takes place in July, sets stages which require participants to drive up to 860 miles a day. The winner is the car which achieves an average speed for the whole run closest to 61mph.
Jan Dechamps, the event’s managing director, said that it was possible to achieve an average of 61mph without speeding because much of the route was on European motorways with a limit of 80mph.
But she admitted that no time was allowed for drivers to stop for meals or to rest. Those who did might break the limit to make up for lost time.
Ms Dechamps said Tispol’s initiative was heavy-handed and failed to acknowledge the efforts some organisers had made to improve safety.
She said: “Police should distinguish between responsible events like ours and those for people with more money than sense.”
- Gumball entrants were at gala dinner with Albanian prime minister on day of fatal incident
- The model Caprice and the Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay took part this year
Sources: Times archives
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