By Brett Clarkson, TORONTO SUN
Rory Camangian poses in a matador costume beside a Lamborghini Gallardo at the Toronto Hilton.
True to racing form, former Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis was the first celebrity driver across the finish line at the Toronto stop of a cross-continent rally race last night.
But Lewis couldn’t catch non-celebrity rally enthusiasts like Rob Ferretti, 25, and Noah Lehmann-Haupt, 28, who arrived first at 7 p.m. in their $170,000 Ford GT.
Although dozens of other non-celebrity racers in the 100-car Bullrun race also crossed the finish line hours before Lewis did, the retired sprinter fared much better than Star Wars star and local boy Hayden Christensen, whose Ferrari broke down somewhere in New York state. His car was reportedly being towed up to Toronto late last night.
The week-long Bullrun race from New York to Los Angeles is being filmed for British and American television, and will also feature celebrities such as Paris Hilton, who’ll likely join the race later in the week in Las Vegas, and former child stars Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, who lives in Toronto.
Lewis, Feldman, and Haim were among the 200 race participants who stopped in at the Toronto Hilton last night, the first checkpoint in the race, which began yesterday morning in Times Square in New York City.
Lewis, who drove a Dutch-made Spyker C8 Spyder, was asked if he was breaking the speed limit or dodging cops on the highways yesterday.
“Oh come on, I drove … what’s the speed limit here?” Lewis asked, before he was told the limit. “I drove 100 (km/h).”
Lewis said he’s been keeping a low profile lately, but said the Bullrun has given him a chance to dabble in showbiz while indulging his love for cars.
“The thing is, I’ve been way off the scene for a long time, deliberately. (It’s) 2006, I got two movies coming out this year…. I kinda got my mojo back,” Lewis said.
“It’s a way to meet different people with similar interests,” he said of the race. “I could sit here and talk for hours with all of them about cars.”
Ferretti, from New York City, also couldn’t believe he and Lehmann-Haupt finished before racing legend Mario Andretti, also taking part in the rally.
“I’m not even going to compare driving skills with Mario Andretti, but we did beat him to the checkpoint,” Ferretti said.
When Feldman, who starred in Goonies and Stand By Me, arrived in his Lotus, Haim excitedly hugged his friend. The two will drive together on the next leg of the rally, and are currently working on a TV show that will star both of them.
“It’s tough to wake up in the morning and not know where you’re going,” Haim joked, referring to the fact competitors don’t know where they’ll be driving to until the morning start time. “When I wake up I just go where they tell me to go.”