Thanks to Emil for being the driving force behind this Bullrun Blog, which arguably may be the best one. I'm apart of it and "I" really enjoy it. I hope you all do as well.
After much needed rest on Saturday my Bullrun experience didn't quite come to a close until Saturday night. Vinny Russo, who runs an automotive events company, obtained a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution from Mitsubishi Motors. We decided to take the car to the Canyons near Glendale (LA) to visit his friend Frankie G. Frankie G. happens to be a hollywood stunt driver and is still licensed to drive Grand Prix races. Frankie was good enough to teach me some high speed canyon carving in the Mitsubishi. Needless to say we whipped through the canyons at about 120 mph with razor precision. It was great. I submitted the video to Emil. Hopefully it's VOD CARS worthy. My much needed "seat time" and driving experience continues on.
Back to driving a desk...
Besides the exhaustion that still grips my body, I still experience bits and pieces of a live Bullrun. Everytime I close my eyes I see road and scenery flying by. My wife picked me up from the airport yesterday and on the way home I stopped myself from pointing out police cars, TWICE.
AND EVERTHING SEEMS SLOW.
My mind is still working at over a 100 mph. Thoughts and experiences keep coming back and logging themselves into memory. I have always made it my business not to experience life through the lense of a camera. Same goes for this blog. I chose to experience Bullrun the most I could. I didn't want to remember things just for sake of blogging. I believe the authenticity of this blog is what makes this a strong piece. Emil and I are still blogging because it's coming from the memories of our experiences, not a piece of paper with scribbled notes.
Seriously...More to come (After my "Bullrun Hangover" subsides).
Thank god for Claus Ettensberger. If it were not for him, I'd be flipping out over the Porsche. See, after driving 4,000 miles without incident in her Audi, Keri got hit about a mile from our house while she was on her way to pick me up at Lamborghini Beverly Hills.
It's not that bad, really, but I see a TechArt body kit in our future...
From the time I dropped the Gallardo off in Beverly Hills for shipment to New York to the time I returned the car to Beverly Hills for an inspection of the front differential, the car logged 4,107 miles.
Ashes to ashes... Dust to dust... Beverly Hills to Beverly Hills...
Back where it all began, I dropped the Gallardo off in Beverly Hills while Rory slept off the closing night party. I cannot believe that the car held up, especially after our top-speed run and cruising at 180+ for more than 40 minutes in Utah. Sure, the front differential may have been "acting up" but hey... it's not like the RennTech CL600, Ford GT, Ferrari 550, or Porsche 911 Turbo ran through the desert without incident.
Nevertheless, the good people of Lamborghini of Beverly Hills will take good care of the Gallardo and get it ready for equipment removal and reconditioning down at Shoreline Motoring.
Next year, though, we'll be running something more adroit for rallying...
Below are my favorite cop photos from the Bullrun 2006:
Always on camera, right?
Combining stops: Fuel and a Ticket
An especially stern looking officer.
An especially thorough vehicle search. The police in Michigan, however serious they were, were also very courteous taking time to dust off any items replaced into the Lamborghini after being searched. Photo by Unlimited Class
The party at Social was great. It was fantastic to be out with everyone and not stressing about strategy for tomorrow. Everyone looked great, was nice and relaxed and happy to be "finished". Medals were handed out, awards were given and in the end... it seems that everyone's favourite Tove Christiensen won the rally.
Tove was by far the victor this year and. He drove phenomenally and tactfully at every turn and delivered an exemplary performance. As much as I love the Collins Brothers and Team Riecke... I'm not sure how they finished second and third over Team Gotham, but so be it.
Of course, Rory won the "Ambassador of Bullrun" award including the new 2006 Bullrun watch from Stefan Johansson.
Congratulations, Rory and to all the Bullrun 2006 participants.
We made it 6th to the finish line in Beverly Hills. After jumping off the 10 at National, I lost Claus. I had a police officer behind me and was unable to make some of the moves Claus made.
The 10 was clear. A few slow-downs around downtown, but we definately made the right choice. We even beat Richard Rawlins to the finish line.
No finish line is complete without hotel security coming to yell about the donuts. The best was when Justin in the Safety Car was whipping around and the hotel dude told him to stop. His reply over his car's PA: "Safety First, Sir."
After a beer at the finish line, photos, interviews, and hassling Hayden Christiensen's fans (who always seem to know where we are going to be) I headed home for a shower. I've not been home in 3 weeks and it was nice to see all the mail from my "friends" at American Express, Chase, All Points Capital, and DirecTV.
The party starts in 3 hours. Hopefully, I can get a leg up on the action, too.
What a great little course. The infield road course at California Speedway is a really fun little track. Not overly technical, not overly fast... a really great place for people who have no track time. Like Danny. (Not.)
Of course, we all got bunched up behind a slow moving Porsche so the "no passing" rule lasted about 5 seconds.
We grabbed some Tacos from the Taco King truck and then booked it to the Finish Line at the Beverly Hilton. We did manage a sneak peek under the boot of Tove's Porsche's secret weapon:
You know, I hear that Porsche is working on a cure for Aids, too.
Claus and I risked it and took the 10 all the way in. Others went the route of the 210. I opted for the 10 because it was not rush hour, there is a car pool lane, and Claus has spent more time driving through Beverly Hills at high speeds than anyone on the rally and I wanted to follow that.
We made enough noise leaving San Diego to wake the dead. Danny, Omar and Rob all whipped donuts in the intersection of Columbia and B. As the attention of local law enforcement was focused on us, I grabbed a route card from Ross and scooted out before the US Marshalls (whose office is on the same intersection) came out to see what was going on.
Luckily, we had a bit of a visual distraction.
It was a completely uneventful drive to the California Speedway in Fontana. We placed 6th this leg.
Arriving in San Diego was great. The bus beat EVERYONE in to town except Alex and Danielle who flew in when their Gallardo died in the Utah desert. We walked from the W to the checkpoint at the Santa Fe Station: The Patron Tequila Train.
The rest of the day is a blur of Thai food at the beach at the W, dinner with Claus and Rob at some seafood place in Gaslamp, racing pedicabs at 1:00am and fighting with hotel security to let me in to my room.
I must admit, by Day 6 I was wiped out. I drove over to the Shelby Museum for breakfast and hot laps at Vegas Motor Speedway. Rory took the laps in Vegas as I've already driven the short course over there. In fact, I was exhausted by Day 6, so I handed Rory the keys to the Gallardo and got on the Bullrun tour bus for a nap.
The nap, of course, turned in to a 5 hour party to San Diego while the Bullrun went to Havasu, crossed the London Bridge and then booked it to San Diego. I should have known better than to get on a tour bus during the Bullrun.
At first I was bummed about missing Havasu, but hey... it was a Thursday and nothing is going on in Havasu on Thursday except more 105°+ temperatures. I was happy to be on the bus watching movies and drinking.
Arrivals were a bit of a yawn becaue it was so hot. The temperature was 105°+ since we left Colorado and the second we arrived in Vegas, we were inside. A quick shower and we were ready to hit the strip. My sister came by with her boss, Walter, for a vehicle inspection and dinner at the SW steakhouse in Las Vegas. Of course, I was almost ejected because of my shorts ("SW is a fine dining experience.", I was told -- yet another reason why the Wynn sucks donkey balls) but some quick talking from Noah and fear of losing a hungry table of 12 and all was well.
The pool party at Caesars was fantastic. We should never have left to go to the club -- because they were over capacity and we could not get in. A quick trip to the tables where Rob tripled the money we earmarked for Danny's bail and a nap.
Given that I had to throttle things WAY back, the helicopter finally caught up to us. Of course, being on filmed by a choppper on the highway is a LOT of fun, so we decided to showboat a little for the camera. Some slip-streaming, some fast accelleration, some attetion from an officer in Grand County, Utah.
He wrote me up for 84 in a 75, which is was very generous on his part.
The best part is that we got the whole thing on tape from the chopper. He was in traffic in the on-coming lane, saw me speed down a hill, crossed the median and chased me down the freeway a bit. Thankfully, he was a good sport and will most definately make the Bullrun show in the UK.
I'll have to send him a copy of the tape.
It was clear sailing the rest of the way in to Las Vegas.
Bye-bye, Collins Borthers. Bye-bye, Team Riecke. Bye-bye, Tove. Bye-bye Team SuperSpeeders.
A warning light on the Gallardo came on at about 185 indicating trouble with the 4 WD system. I slowed to 160 and called Lamborghini in Beverly Hills. After a quick conversation and instructions to slow down more, we determined that the front differential fluid was probably overheating and that I should slow down. Which is total crap.
The rest of the group that I was driving with was gone and they beat me to Las Vegas by 90 minutes.
While trying to get a jump on the day, several Bullrunners left Vail before the official departure to Las Vegas. Of course, they are disqualified from the standings of the day, but they can drive without getting caught up in the insanity of others.
Or can they?
I'm not sure what happened, but one of the teams is in jail and we were all warned by a local Sheriff and a State Police Officer: DO NOT SPEED IN COLORADO.
So, we didn't. We got on I-70, bunched up across the 2 lanes and drove the speed limit. We passed each speedtrap (about 14) that was setup between Colorado and the Utah state line and... well... noone got pinched and we had a massive line of cars behind us with a LOT of angry commuters.
I'm actually the Sherman County Deputy that wrote you that citation for 99 in a 70 mph (mile post 11 westbound I-70). Not that it particularly matters, but I'm a Deputy Sheriff...not a State Trooper. I don't recall stating that your speed usually meant a trip to jail...but I'd have to go back and look at the video. (It is true, folks, that my writing was poor on the citation, as I was trying to get these guys back on the road.)
I really appreciate how cordial you and your partner were, and I really appreciate how you stopped so quickly and chose not to gun it. I really like my Police Package Crown Victoria, but I think you would left me in the dust with your car. I hope I made your first speeding citation as painless as possible.
Best wishes, and be safe, at whatever speed!
Brad Parker Sherman County Sheriff's Office Goodland, KS
After an extremely boring drive through Kansas, we arrived in Colorado. We skirted some local traffic in Denver (Thanks, Traci and Alex) and made it to Vail rather quickly. We coasted in to town on fumes -- the lighter than normal air mixture wreaked havoc with our consumption math.
Arriving in Vail was amazing. Aside from being a beautiful town with beautiful surroundings, there was a 3,500+ person crowd when we got there who were all screaming and cheering. It was sort of like the Tour de France. Streets were lined with people, security and Police everywhere, bands, beer and food. We celebrated our arrival with knockwurst, bratwurst and tequila shots.
Arrivals went quickly, the Sonnenalp Hotel and staff were fantastic. Claus, of CEC Wheels fame organized a wonderful dinner at Ludwig's. He even made a special request from the house Austrian Pastry chef. Best meal of the whole trip. No contest.
Of course, we went back to the pary after dinner and I kept drinking until about tomorrow.
We rolled in to the SRCA Drag Strip in Great Bend Kansas. Had a quick lunch, raced the strip got our route card and left. Ok, maybe we hung out for a few seconds and a few races -- including the Mosler v. Carl Lewis.
On the way out of Kansas, Rob took us on a short cut that lead down a 4 mile long dirt road. I was not pleased. Of course, after 4 miles of pain, it was countless miles of smooth, clear sailing.
Memo to any farmers in Kansas that saw a red Ford GT and a white Lamborghini roll past your farm: You were not drunk on grain alcohol. It really happened.
Next stop: Vail, Colorado
Shout out to the chic at the gas station in Great Bend who thought Rob was a billionaire after his $130 bill. No, seriously, this chic almost had a heart attack when the register hit triple-digits... (She was cute, too.)