GTspirit member and general all-round nice guy, Vanimal, brings us an exclusive update from the viewpoint of the inimitable Team Rising Sun. He grabbed a rare quiet moment to fill me in on the ‘Run so far….

“Sorry it’s taking me so long to get an update out to you! I don’t know how these other folks are doing it. By the time I make it in to the checkpoints all I can think about is food, beer, and sleep… and generally all three of those items take place within a couple minutes of each other. These fotos are in no particular order sorry to say. I can’t think that hard this early in the morning sans coffee.

So first things first, since I know all you sick bastards want to see are crash photos…..

It’s not the best shot but you can see the Escalade is no more, thankfully the trees survived (hey, I’m from Santa Cruz). The guys driving the car had frankly been nothing but trouble the whole rally and their crash was bound to happen. They’re not even in the rally, just the entourage of rapper Obie Thrice, who himself is in the entourage of Eminem. I think in degrees of relatedness that makes them 2nd Entourage Once Removed. Anyway, they all walked away luckily but I’m not sorry they’re out of the mix.

Next up is a shot of the toll booth fiasco. The state troopers, which state I can’t remember, told everyone to pull over after a tollbooth so they could write down license plate numbers and issue tickets based on the time-stamp of the toll ticket.

It was so hectic with Bullrunners running around taking photos of them and and each other that the cops were just overwhelmed. We picked up on that quickly and simply drove away without stopping. Other Bullrunners saw us bail without incident so soon everyone was back in their cars and on their way without anyone actually getting popped. Score one for Bullrunners.

Jacob was in our car for a day and at an exotic car dealership my dad noticed one of the Ferraris had Jacob’s last name on it! Jacob called his dad and confirmed the car was on display somewhere out east of California, they didn’t even know where, and that ownership had actually passed down to Jacob himself. So in the middle of nowhere Jacob finds his very own 1977 racing Ferrari once driven by his dad back in the day. Jake tried to see if he could take it with him by loading it up in the Gas Monkey rig, but he wasn’t successful and the car stayed behind.

Now he’s driving the Lincoln Navigator for Team Darkcyde and is kicking everyone’s ass constantly. It’s really quite scary to think how well he’d be doing if he had a car that could corner. Jzen’s strategy is to not stop for red lights, police, or his team mates of whom he is really supposed to be driving their support vehicle. Team Darkcyde has now reclassified him as Route Recon Vehicle, since having your support vehicle beat you and everyone else to the checkpoints is rather embarrassing.

We ran with them all day for day one and had a blast. That car is just the most impressive piece of machinery on the rally. Watching it take turns or smoke it’s tires at toll booths was just awe inspiring. But, taking a 1954 racing vehicle on a 3,000 mile rally without a team of mechanics is, well, crazy. And the thing just couldn’t survive. It’s now inside the Gas Monkey truck getting a lift all the way home to California and Bret and Kevin have piled in with Skinny in his Audi, or with whomever seems to have a spare seat at checkpoints.

Here’s some Wichita, Kansas kids who happened to be nearby when we stopped to fix the Oh Canada Porsche 928 power steering. They were so stoked to see these cars come through their town. Made their day to be sure. We asked them if they wanted to be in a photo and they sprinted over, only to have the Bejezus scared out of them when my dad hit the PA horn and blasted music out from our exterior speaker.

Alex Roy, banished from this year’s Bullrun due to his Gumball participation, took some folks out to dinner the night before the rally started. In attendance are the Collins Bros, Richard “Redstate” Rawlings, Nicholas Frankl, Bret and Kevin, and my father and I.

It was a nice evening at a private club in NYC, where everyone seems to know Herr Roy and his Polizei antics. Even though Alex isn’t in the rally this year he took out the M5 and ran to a checkpoint or two with us. He’s also been sending out txt messages to Bullrunners advising of road blocks, police traps, alt routes throughout the whole rally. So even though he’s not with us this year, he’s managed to help folks make the best of it and keep ’em on track.

The Subaru lit up by the Lights of NYC. The startline was a lot of fun, tons of folks lining each side of the road made for a Gauntlet to run through of fotos flashes, cheers, and dumbfounded traffic police. It was straight out of a WRC rally highlight reel.

We had the Canadian police lead us on a single file convoy at speed through the customs line getting back into the USA. We bypassed hours of people waiting to get in, and it was really very cool of Canada to do this for us. The down side to it was they called the American police and told them when and where we’d be entering the country and it was just carnage on the roads once we made it through. Tons of tickets were issued and folks had to start getting creative with alternate routes just to survive. Which of course we did just fine.

Here’s our pack that ran from the drag strip in Great Bend all the way to Vail. We chose an alternate route so we could stay off the interstate mayhem and it made for the best driving of the rally. Flat out with no police to be seen on a two lane highway with next to no traffic. The few police we did see were very cool and didn’t mess with us at all. One in particular saw us coming and instead of hitting us with RADAR he just keyed up on the radio and said there was construction coming up and could we please drive 50-55 for a little bit! He knew we all had police scanners on board so he just broadcast his message and gave us the thumbs up as we slowed down. Pretty cool dude.

Cuban brothers are fricking hilarious. Anyone that says otherwise is officially a douchebag and should be kicked off whatever forum they go to for rallying news ;) ……These guys are so much fun to have about, their shows are off the hook funny and they’re cool guys when the brown face paint and moustaches are off. You’d never know who they were when you’re shooting the shit over a beer with them.

NYC city cops were just amazed at the cars in their sleepy little town. They were coming by in shifts to see the cars getting stickered up. Then they called the fire department and a couple engines unloaded firefighters to come walk around and see the cars. Pretty fun to talk with these guys and explain what was about to go down for the next week. One cop in particular told me about a time he pulled over a Lambo Murcielago and traded cars with the guy for a bit. The cop hopped in and punched it while the Lambo owner tried to keep up with the squad car! Excellent!

The AMG Dolls are driving the hell out of their E55 AMG and. Ashley is most likely going to lose her license when she returns to New Jersey for her court appearance, and the blond one is most likely going to be starring in a porno in a theater near you!

These girls actually hate each other and can’t stand one another’s company. It’s pretty funny to hear ’em bag on each other when the other one is off posing for the cameras. I wonder who’s going to win when they finally come to blows,(hey, no I mean when they finally fight each other), my money’s on Ashley!”

With only a couple of days to go until the finish, let there be no doubt that Team Rising Sun will be Bullrunnin’ to the limit all the way….

BANZAI!!!

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