2015 Gumball 3000 Rally Journal - Day Two - We're Finally Driving

If yesterday was one of the slower days here at the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally, today things started picking up speed. Literally. After a short briefing at the hotel where the teams were staying, held by Maximillian Cooper, the guy who basically invented the whole thing, we got together for the flag drop.
Anastasia Date / Asian Date Camaros 98 photos
Photo: Another Brother
At 12 PM sharp, everyone on the starting grid was ready. The order of the cars was decided by the donations they made the night before and it's going to be the same for every day of the rally. Every night an auction will be held and the winner will get to go home with a rare item.

For example, in the US, where Lewis Hamilton will join the party, a pair of his racing gloves will be put up for auction. Another interesting item on this list will be a replica of the famous KITT car from Knight Rider put up by none other than David Hasselhoff himself.

After the flag drop, every car started heading out to our first checkpoint, a nice small castle in the Swedish town of Örebro. The crowd there was crazy and that's one of the best things this whole madness has to offer.

The love of petrol in Scandinavia 

No matter how many Teslas Scandinavian people buy, the thirst these people have for muscle cars, supercars and big V8s (turbocharged or not) is evident at all times. The fans usually come out with their families so you could see all age groups out there, from 3 to 4 year-old to mid-forty or fifty, and even older people as well.

The enthusiasm on their faces makes your whole day. The best thing about it is that it doesn't really matter if you're a celebrity or not, they'll definitely treat you like one and the VIP experience is guaranteed.

After stopping for a quick lunch, the convoy moved on and our Team AnastasiaDate / AsianDate cars were joined by a beautiful Ferrari F50 that just decided to tag along as we were getting out of the small Swedish town.

Down on the road, we were actually joined by a couple Porsche 918 Spyders and we hanged with them for a while on the highway. I know what you're thinking: could those old muscle cars keep up with a proper hypercar? The answer is quite simple: yes. That's because speed limits here are drastically enforced and the fines are calculated based on your income so all the rich people here really didn't want to get pulled over for speeding.

The law enforcement toll 

That didn't work out for all of them though. Out of the 80 cars that are actually racing, 21 tickets were handed out and there were at least 3 arrests that we know about. Rumors around the crew say that there were at least three more, but there's no official number just yet.

Once we got on the highway, yours truly got to ride in the yellow Camaro Team AnastasiaDate / AsianDate and it was an interesting experience, to say the least.

Driving the restomod Camaros

Old school muscle cars like this one have a special flavor, one that appeals to the most fundamental instincts of petrolheads. It just messes with your head and the smell of burnt fuel is just like a straight up epinephrine shot.

Sitting inside you instantly notice the small side mirrors that are a bitch to use and the fact that the steering wheel is quite big. Our car had a power steering system installed so that it would be easier to drive inside the big cities we're visiting, but it's not working the way it's supposed to for now.

Another interesting fact about the Camaro is that it has its original brakes even though the engine was drastically upgraded. Under the bonnet, we have a stroked 383 cubic inch V8 that makes around 540 HP and 440 lb-ft of torque. Hooked up to the 4-speed manual gearbox, the effect is quite impressive.

Once you accelerate, the whole chassis twists and the bonnet is actually moving to one side. Once you set off though, everything goes wild. Steve Elstins, the mechanic who rebuilt the two Camaros fitted them with a custom exhaust at his own shop and that thing is absolutely insane. It has two modes: in silent mode when its valves are closed, you'd probably think it's a lot louder than a modern Hellcat. In loud mode though...

Things get out of hand and I think it's safe to say that we were rolling in the loudest car of the whole event. And we have a Ferrari 458 fitted with an iPE exhaust here. Reaching Oslo was an enlightening experience all in itself. The highway leading to the city goes through some beautiful scenery and Maximillian definitely knew what he was doing when setting up the route. The backdrops, forests and lakes are mesmerizing and once you reach the actual city streets, things get even louder because of the tall buildings around you.

Meeting new people 

There was a crowd of around 10,000 people waiting for us and that's even though it was raining pretty hard. Everyone had their phone out, from little girls to grown women, all of them soaking wet but nothing really mattered and couldn't keep them away from the cars.

The amount of high fives and fist bumps we did was insane and it's needless to say that everyone wanted us to rev our engines as hard as we could. And yes, cheers went out every single time.

After letting the cars rest on the Parkway, right next to Rådhusplassen where they were left for the night for viewing. As it was the case every night, a huge party followed in a local club, even though the next day we had to wake up rather early for the 9:00 AM flag drop.

The next day will see us travel out of Norway, back in Denmark, visiting the Koenigsegg factory. That's the way the Gumball 3000 Rally rolls! Stay tuned!

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