Yesterday the Cannonball 8000 started in London for a 3 day race to Zagreb. Todays leg was supposed to go from Brussels to Prague, was supposed to go yes as the German authorities forbid the Cannonballers to drive through Germany yesterday. Today the German police stopped 20 Cannonballers that tried to go through Germany anyway, on multiple highways patrol cars picked up Cannonballers and made them pay fines between 420 and 1000 euro’s.
Other Cannonballers said to drive around Germany to Prague, a route leads through France – Switserland and Austria. German police received all license plates from the participating cars from the French police so that even removing the stickers wouldn’t help them in an attempt to reach Prague through Germany. Team #98 and #87 in the Porsche Carrera 4S and Mercedes ML 420 CDI made the best of it and drove to the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam instead to build their own party… What was supposed to be the first checkpoint in Brussel last night turns out to be the finish for some of this years Cannonball ers.
It’s the third times this year the German authorities stop a roadrally from driving through the country. In May the Gumball 3000 was stopped and delayed on the way to the airport near Frankfurt and a month later it was ModBall that was stopped by German police and later cancelled.
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The German police impounded more then 20 Cannonball cars including Lamborghini’s and Porsches, unofficial sources say at least 47 cars have been stopped. The cars will stay in police custody until sunday and until a 1150 euro fine is paid. The drivers had to rent a car or stay in an hotel in the area. The police set up roadblocks at the highways A4 and A44 near the Belgian border and also on smaller roads to prevent Cannonballers from getting away by taking a small detour around the roadblock.
Some drivers managed to drive through Germany unnoticed but at the German – Austrian border they were stopped and the German police fined them 170 euro’s for being part of an illegal and forbidden roadrace and suspended their drivers licenses for a month in Germany.
Driving through France, Switserland and Austria to Prague was a bit to far for some drivers including those of the Ariel Atom. They are staying in an hotel in Switserland for the night and continue to Zagreb from there tomorrow.
Some drivers that had their cars confiscated in Germany today can’t be bothered to drive to Prague in a rental car and they are staying in hotels in Western Germany until their cars are released tomorrow.
Cannonball 8000 announced the launch of Cannonball 8000 Singapore. The press release also states the revenue and profit figures from this years Cannonball 8000 rally. With a reported profit of $ 600.000 from this years rally alone there should be more then enough to refund those that had their cars confiscated today and those that were not able to make it to the Prague checkpoint in time.
A Cannonballer reports:
It’s all true. Only about 20 cars, ours included, made it to Prague on Saturday evening. Some only arrived at 2 in the morning. We took the long way round, circumnavigating Germany altogether. It was hectic, as we left Brussels at 1am without having made use of the delicious looking beds. We spent the next 19 hours driving via Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria and finally the Czech Republic. We were absolutely finished, but so proud to have made it. Right now I’m sitting in the hotel in Zagreb and am getting ready to go party the night away and then to sleep forever.