Letter received by Gumball HQ as of 18th of August 2005:

Dear Gumballers,

After much deliberating, and continued high powered talks about next years Gumball 3000, we’ve decided to opt for an alternate route. The North Korean route involved talks with everyone from our very own Prime Minister to the United Nations, and despite being granted unpreceedented permission to enter North Korea and cross the Demiliterized Zone, the overiding opinion from our supporting World leaders and loyal old Gumballers was that we give North Korea a miss. The alternate ‘Asian leg’ will certainly enable you to sit more comfortably over the coming months, without risk of being abducted by Kim Jong IL, and driving wise, it’s the best route ever. We’re also pleased to announce an extension to the American leg – giving the U.S an equal share of the rally and an amazing driving experience!

I personally am a little dissappointed that we have decided to not include North Korea in our plans, as my experience of visiting the little visited country over the past year has been a priviledged experience. However, with an ever changing political climate, and particularly after talking to all those Gumballers that have already signed up for ’06, over 90% of you were more keen on the round the world element than the thought of getting lost in a Communist country, and equally the overiding response was to make the American leg more significant than simply Vegas to LA, so with these comments and suggestions in mind, here’s what’s happening.

With Gumball now looking forward to its eighth year, having previously crossed the USA from east to west, and then again from west to east, lapping Europe and Scandinavia more times than you’d care to mention, and having already ventured into Africa, for 2006 we have decided to go one step further and take you “Around the World in 8 Days!” crossing Europe, Asia and the United States in one 8 day rally, with parties, race tracks and music concerts along the way!

Our awareness in Asia rapidly increasing thanks largesly to having the highest rated TV show following the Gumball on MTV’s ‘Whatever Things’, featuring the adventures of the AiYa gang on the 2004 rally (our film of the AiYa’s experience on the Gumball called ‘Drivin’ Me Crazy!’ will be released at the end of the year. It’s HILARIOUS!!!). With China becoming an increasing global superpower, we decided incorporating them would be the next logical step. Ironically, at the same time as our TV show hit Beijing, the Chinese Government invited us to bring the event to China, as a sort of preliminary event to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. So with that kind of support, Olympic backing, China granting Gumball unprecedented permissions and promoting the Gumball like we’re the Olympics, what more can I say than, China here we come….!

Stage 1
In deciding to start the event from our natural home and future Olympic host city of London, we’re going to kick the proceedure off with a HUGE public music concert the night before the flag drops, setting the scene for an amazing departure the following day (seeing if we can eclipse 250,000 people that attended this year), where cars will take off aiming for for Turkey, crossing 10 European countries, including the cities of Brussels, Salzburg, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia en route to reach Istanbul where we will do the unimaginable and fly all 120 supercars and 250 people to Hong Kong, using 3 of the world’s largest cargo planes, the Antanov, and one private Gumball 3000 Jumbo Jet for all the drivers! If that experience doesn’t make this adventure a ‘once in a lifetime’ then nothing will!

Stage 2
>From Hong Kong, ‘Mission 2’ of the rally will cover another 1000 miles across the most spectacular countryside ever seen, with checkpoints including some of the oldest ‘Martial Arts’ monestaries and the most futuristic of cities, such as Shanghai, before heading to the ancient capital and 2008 Olympic city of Beijing where an unpreceedented music concert will take place in Tianamen Square. From here, cars will again be loaded onto the 4 private jets, and this time be flown over the Pacific Ocean to the third Olympic host city of Salt Lake in the United States.

Stage 3
>From Salt Lake ‘Mission 3’ will cover the final 1000 miles of the 8 day adventure, starting with races across the famous ‘Bonneville’ salt flats where Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first driver to take a car over 300 mph, reaching a staggering 301.13 in 1935 (lets see who’s going to break the Gumball sound barrier!). From the salt flats of Utah, next stop Las Vegas will play host to a night of partying before the final dash to our fourth and final Olympic host city of Los Angeles to cross the finish line. A music concert will play out the rally followed by a trophy giving bash at Hef’s famous ‘Playboy Mansion’!

Eight days that nobody will forget, continuing our committment to being the “World’s most all encompassing lifestyle event

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