The 2006 rally was the most ambitious of any Gumball 3000 race, starting in London and finishing in Los Angeles just 8 days later. The organisers flew all 120 cars from Europe to Asia and on to the USA in three Antonov An-124’s, where the cars were held, and an Icelandair passenger Boeing 757 with the contestants. The rally began on April 29, 2006, in Pall Mall, London, and continued on to Vienna, Austria, Budapest, Hungary and then arrived in Belgrade, Serbia. The drivers then boarded a plane and landed in Thailand for the rally’s second leg between Phuket to Bangkok. The final leg occurred in the United States between Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, via Las Vegas, where Snoop Dogg performed live at the Gumball party.
Entrants included Jackass stars Ryan Dunn and Bam Margera, driving Margera’s Billy Idol-customized purple Lamborghini Gallardo; Tony Hawk, Mike Vallely, and Rooftop Escamilla in a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8; blink-182’s Travis Barker drove his 2003 Rolls Royce Phantom with Swizz Beatz; Dirty Sanchez used a Japan-Tuning style Nissan 180SX; Dan Joyce, Matthew Pritchard, and Love Actually star Martine McCutcheon drove a pink Range Rover; American television host Matt Johnston drove his custom 2006 Dodge Charger and Managing Director of Morgan Motor Company Charles Morgan among Gumball’s regular assortment of eccentrics, celebrities, millionaires and billionaires from all over the world.
Team Polizei’s Alex Roy and Michael Ross again dominated Gumball 2006, arriving first in Belgium, Vienna, Budapest, Furnace Creek and Beverly Hills, even beating Gumballers who skipped the intermediate checkpoints. Team Polizei, suffering from both Ed Leigh’s sabotage and accident damage in Thailand, did not participate in the Thailand leg and made a surprise visit to the Burmese border, where pictures were taken with border guards who thought Team Polizei were UN inspectors. Torquenstein returned despite his serious accident in the 2004 event, driving a rally-ready Ford GT. Modifications included a smoke screen, laser jammers, radar surveillance and three GPS units. Torquenstein arrived second in Belgrade, eighth in Thailand and arrived simultaneously to finish on the final stage with the Team Polizei Bentley driven by Roy and Ross. The Spirit Trophy was won by Damian Williams, Richard Blackburn and Ezra Chapman of Team 15, who crashed a camouflage Rolls Royce Phantom at approximately 160 mph just north of Belgrade. The team allegedly rode 500+ miles in a cab across Thailand, then received a brand-new Rolls Royce Phantom in Salt Lake City and drove to the Beverly Hills finish line. Upon arriving at the Playboy Mansion with the twisted grille from the first Phantom, Hugh Hefner presented the duo with a fitting trophy, a gumball machine. (Source Wikipedia)
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