The Bullrun Rally is an annual event held in the United States where a hunderd of the world’s finest cars partake in a week long adventure. The drivers start each day not knowing where they are going. They are handed a route card moments before they leave, giving them clues to lead them to another checkpoint where they will pick up another route card. Eventually the drivers are led to a mid-day checkpoint, sometimes a restaurant, sometimes a race track.
The Bullrun organizers like to take the drivers to a combination of small towns nobody has ever heard of and to large party-hubs that generate a frenzy of excitement. Every day the drivers clock in with their official Bullrun time cards. At the end of their seven day adventure, the team that navigates the quickest to each checkpoint (based on cumulative times) is awarded the Bullrun Navigator Award.
Each year there are always a number of teams vying for this award – but it’s not a race, it’s a rally! This year the rally cruised from Las Vegas to Miami, paying homage to the original Bullrun route in 2004, Los Angeles to Miami. The rally is filmed each year for a television series called ‘Cops, Cars & Superstars’. The show has typically aired in the United Kingdom, but this year it was filmed for MTV.
Day 1: Las Vegas to Scottsdale, Arizona
The Bullrun launch party was held in ‘The Gallery’ inside the Bullrun Hotel, Planet Hollywood. The Bullrunners stayed up all night meeting their fellow drivers, dancing, drinking and partying.
The unique thing about this year’s Bullrun was that the rally was going to launch in the evening – a Bullrun first! Typically the rally launched at 9:00am, but the rally organizers wanted to do something special this year. The rally started on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. A crowd of over 20,000 fans gathered to see the Bullrunners off on their annual journey.
The DTA skate team was present to show off their moves in front of the crowd, and even jumped over the Bullrun Shelby. Then it was the drivers’ briefing, where rally organizers; Andy Duncan and David Green, informed the drivers about the journey they would be embarking on. The drivers learned that in order to get their first route card, they would have to go down the Fremont Street zip line.
When they got their route card, they could proceed to the Bullrun starting arch and drive down the famous street, and onward to their first route card checkpint in the small town of Chloride, Arizona, then onward to the W Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. Amber Rose was this year’s flag girl, and rapper, Vanilla Ice, driving the Firebreather, started out in Pole Position.
Right out of the starting gate, teams all split off in different directions. Some followed the Wu’s in their Trapster Patrol car, while others followed Team LuckyNutZ in their Renntech CL600. Some drivers decided to map out their own route entirely and head off on their own. One thing is for sure, a lot of teams got lost trying to find their way out of Sin City!
The drivers, having never driven a night leg on Bullrun before, had a tougher time than normal finding their way to Scottsdale. Some missed the turnoff, and others went in the wrong direction. Robert Valik, known as EuroCruise, and Ice Marrow, Ice-T’s son, in the Ferrari F430 took a wrong turn towards Los Angeles, and didn’t even realize they made a wrong turn for a few hours.
Vanilla Ice hit a piece of shredded tire on the road, and though his car did sustain a battle scar, he saved it from veering into the guard rail on the side of the road. The front runners were immediately established on this leg. Seth Rose and Tony King in the White GT-R, Claus Ettensberger and Joaquin Meija in the Gold C63 AMG and Robby Gordon in the Black 2012 Preproduction Jeep SRT-8.