Money & Motoring25th May 2014

The Green Light with Maximillian Cooper

The 16th Gumball Rally will see competitors try and get their vehicles from Miami to Ibiza

by Shaun Curran

Do you enjoy driving? Did you enjoy the madcap antics of the competitors in films like Gumball Rally, Cannonball and Cannonball Run? More real than these film portrayals, but not so madcap, the Gumball 3000 is a motor rally that will see competitors set out from Miami with the intention of reaching Ibiza in six whirlwind days. If you have ever wanted to take part in an eccentric and eclectic international car rally, Maximillian Cooper is your man. Now in its 16th year, Gumball 3000 is Cooper’s brainchild, the event now a highlight in the diary for racing enthusiasts who like their rallies exotic, both in terms of location and personnel. This year’s event, starting in Miami on the 4th June, promises to be the most ambitious and action-packed yet.

As the organiser Maximillian explains, “The rally is Miami to Ibiza this year, and I really can’t wait. We drive from Miami to Ibiza, going to New York, then fly all of the cars over to Scotland, then drive down to Edinburgh, and then on to Manchester, London and then over to Paris and onto Barcelona and then finally Ibiza. All of that happens in just six days. There is lots going on as well as the driving: there is a music concert every other night, there are action sports demos every other day, there are car displays every single day and there are parties every night”.

It all sounds pretty horrible….

“Ha, well it is a logistical nightmare! But I am not going to complain, that’s for sure.”

With a seemingly ‘anything goes’ policy concerning the rally, the same ethos applies to the types of cars that entrants can drive during Gumball. If it has four wheels and can last the journey, then it’s fine by Cooper.

“It is the same criteria as trying to get a really diverse mix of people. You want a diverse mix of cars there. If you had 1000 Ferraris there it would be too much about that one genre, so to make it work you need a range of models. For this year, the cross section is what we hope for. I am driving a little Fiat Abarth 500, a little retuned one. I have actually been invited by Fiat to drive a specially built new one which is being launched on the rally this year. It’s called a Fiat 695 Biposto, which is a 240km per hour little Fiat. So that will be really cool. And we have that next to all kinds of cars. One of our Middle East entrants is driving the Tumbler from Batman, which is ridiculous! It’s incredible. It doesn’t fly, but it looks like it should! We have a LaFerrari, the new Ferrari supercar; the boys from Dirty Sanchez are doing it again and are on about bringing an old Mark 2 Golf - so we’ve just got real diversity. Super cars, luxury cars - everything”.

Eager to stress the gigantic element of fun involved, Cooper rejects the idea that many put forward to him that Gumball is a race where the winner takes it all.

“It’s not a race. People always ask me about that, and they always want to know who is going to win but it isn’t a race. When you have people doing it in Ferraris and Lamborghinis and you have other people doing it in an old 1920’s Bentley, it’s not really much of a race. It’s not about that. It’s about getting from A to B, it’s about the camaraderie. Think of it as a road trip. Take in the sights, look at the check points we put en route. The emphasis isn’t about getting there first.”

If all this wasn’t excitement enough, at the end of an exhilarating week, Cooper will marry his long-term girlfriend, the rapper and musician Eve, at a ceremony at the rally’s final destination.

“The rally is definitely going to double up as my stag week. We finish the rally in Ibiza on Wednesday 11th June and on Saturday 14th June we are getting married in the beach in Ibiza. So it is going to be a hectic time for me, but it is going to be a brilliant time as well.”

Attracting the most varied, vibrant and spectacular entries of any motoring rally in the world, this year's events boasts amongst the entries some of the best super cars, some wonderful classics, and some unique vehicles including:

  • Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe
  • 1961 Jaguar Mk 2
  • 2014 Mercedes Benz G65 AMG 6x6
  • 2014 Maclaren P1
  • 2013 Batmobile Tumbler
  • 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
  • Ferraris, Audi 8s, MacClarens
  • And lots, lots more

It does indeed sound brilliant, which leaves us with one last question - is there any way we might be able to tag along for the ride?

“Oh I don’t know… I’ll have to have a think about it!”

The Gumball 3000 Rally begins on June 4 in Miami and will visit Regent Street in London on Sunday, June 8, where fans can attend for free. For more information, visit

Article by Shaun Curran

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Money & Motoring

25th May 2014