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Offline Rat Boy

  • 1158 : 143

  • Joined: Apr 2007

  • Location:
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This year was the first year Top Run was held from May 13th - May 18th
Berlin --> Budapest --> Zagreb --> Dubrovnik --> Lago di Garda --> Monaco
Run by the guys from GT3000.com (formerly carpirates.net) over in Germany. They are multiple Gumball veterans (04 and 05, 2 cars each year).

The BMW M3 CSL we drove for it:
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(Click all pics for bigger...)

The rally started in Berlin, so we had to make the epic 700 mile drive from London in one go (stupid Friday afternoon German traffic...). Day of rest in Berlin allowing us to check out the other cars taking part.
Grid included 2 x Gallardo, many Porsches (lost count...), no Ferraris (which was suprising...) couple of nice Mercs, a Beamer or 2 and aMaserati 3200 (total of 16 cars I think...) There was a Carrera GT lined up but the driver was stuck in bed still in Moscow (Russian mafia for sure...:p) sick as a dog and there was also a Maserati MC12 tuned by sponsors Edo Competition signed up aswell but they blewup the engine a week before... The owner also has a FXX and a MC12 Corsa, both of which are being made street legal (neither were ready in time...), so he decided to take his modified LP640 Roadster but guess what? The clutch went 2 days before... :D So he pulled out and let Edo drive a crazy modified Cayenne Turbo (best sound I have ever heard...).
Cheers>>Jack

If you're not wasted, the day is.



Offline Rat Boy

  • 1158 : 143

  • Joined: Apr 2007

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Day 1: Left the hotel on Sunday morning after an epic party the night before, inwhich me and a crazy Finnish mate almost got kicked out of a club reserved for us... :D

It didnt take long for the Polizei to get us... :p
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This was actually a planned Polizei check... :p

Berlin to Budapest. 900km drive down through Eastern Germany and into Czech Republic to Prague, then onto Brno, into Slovakia through Bratislava and into Hungary.
But unfortunately, we shreded a tyre doing 240kmh just 60km north of Prague... :doh: And to make matters worse, the BMW M3 CSL we were driving, doesnt carry a spare...  :doh: again...
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Eventually got through to BMW recovery service for Europe and they sent out a truck from Prague (reached the car 4 hours after we stopped...:thumbsdown:). And there was only space for 2 passengers in the truck (3 of us in the CSL) so I jumped into a mate's S55 AMG and we headed of as the last car.

Nice and slowly in Slovakia (I think...) in the S55. :)
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Pit stop in Slovakia.
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Cheers>>Jack

If you're not wasted, the day is.



Offline Rat Boy

  • 1158 : 143

  • Joined: Apr 2007

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Day 2: Monday morning, our mission was to get a tyre or two as everything was shut on Sunday...
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We managed to get 2 front Cup tyres with the help of a local mate. We were ripped off big time, 800 Euro for 2 tyres? F*ck off! :irked: But we were desperate so we payed...

Then it was a short dash out to the Budapest F1 track, the Hungaoring...

There was much rejoicing when we arrived at the track with 2 new tyres... :D
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Image  Image
Yeah the dipshit in the gasmask is me... :p

On the track.
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Me filming...

Then at about 2pm we realised that we still had to drive about 400km to Zagreb in Croatia for the night...
So it was a mad scramble of everyone going all out to get to the hotel bar... :D Fairly quiet night in Zagreb, met up with another local mate and went out for a few drinks, which of course means not getting to bed until 430am... :D
Cheers>>Jack

If you're not wasted, the day is.



Offline Rat Boy

  • 1158 : 143

  • Joined: Apr 2007

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Day 3: Wednesday was the drive of the trip. Period.
Zagreb -> Dubrovnik = 600km
To get to Dubrovnik, you have to actually drive through Bosnia for about 15-20km which is kinda cool...

Zagreb to Split consisted of perfect, untouched, empty and, most importantly, cop-free highways... :D
We had an average speed of 235kmh which included fuel stops... Even managed to go through a whole tank of petrol pushing on the speed limiter... :tilt:

However, Spilt to Dubrovnik is a 1 lane, 2 way, roadwork full, traffic full, windy road through the coastal mountains. An absolute nightmare but it was perfect for the CSL! :D

We were the second car to leave Zagreb at 45 min behind the first car, GT3 driven by one of the organisers. We caught up with him in roadworks just south of Bosnia after re-entering Croatia... We ended up beating him to the hotel by 16 minutes... :D He was not happy... :p

Today was the day of our first ticket... About 20km North of the Bosnian border, we were pulled over by a cop wth a radar gun. We were only doing 97kmh in a 80kmh zone... but he was hidden just around a sharp corner, he couldve gotten us for alot more... 500 Kn fine. About 120 Euros from memory...
100m later, roadworks. So we overtake about 25-30 cars waiting at the traffic lights to get to the front (had been doing it the whole trip with no problems). First car to come through from the other side? You guessed it, another cop car.
He made us revese back off the road and fined us for illegally overtaking cars... :doh: 300Kn fine (75 Euros). Then we asked if we could have an escort to the border. He said no but when he got back into his car, the lights and sirens went on and he waved us along... Straight through the roadworks (and oncoming cars...). We ran for the border sometimes hitting 180km/h in a 50 zone!!! The cop was also overtaking trucks and cars on blind corners... Absolutley crazy! It was probably the most memorabe thing of the whole tour...

The Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. The best view I have ever seen. We, of course, headed straight to the pool (and the pool bar...) and as other teams started to drift in they joined us in emptying the pool bar of all the beer they had (which we succeeded in doing btw... :D)
Cheers>>Jack

If you're not wasted, the day is.



Offline Rat Boy

  • 1158 : 143

  • Joined: Apr 2007

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Day 4: A drive of epic proportions...
From Dubrovnik back north all the way through Croatia again, through Slovenia and to Lake Garda in Northern Italy. Something like 1300km from memory...
We were the last car to leave Dubrovnik as we took the hard task of closing the bar a few hours earlier... :D

We were also stopped by Police again today for ilegally overtaking. Atleast thats what we assumed it was for... The copper didnt speak any English... :D But we had just overtaken a car that was also overtaking a truck... All of which he saw and we couldnt do a thing about...:(

Just south the Bosnian border.
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Rather controversial video from our mates in the S55:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/YXpUYpFr134" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/YXpUYpFr134</a>
The Croatian press have found this video and it has featured in a few Croatian news websites... All of the comments rather unsavory toward us... :D

And yes, they did actually get pulled for 244kmh... :D
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Once we got to Italy the traffic jams started as usual. :(
We were caught up in a jam after a truck caught on fire whilst driving... The driver had to jump out of the truck as it was still moving because it wouldnt stop in time...

Our car at the hotel in Sirimone on Lago di Garda.
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Cheers>>Jack

If you're not wasted, the day is.



Offline Rat Boy

  • 1158 : 143

  • Joined: Apr 2007

  • Location:
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Day 5: Lago di Garda to Monaco.
Today was also the start of the Mille Milgia (sp?) so there were literally thousands of cars around Sirimone as its not far from Brescia (the start).

Fairly short blast down to Monaco for the finish. We were the first car to leave at the route card specified time of 10am (actually 4th to leave I think...) and arrived in Casino Square a few short hours later.
Our hotel was the fantastic Hotel de Paris.

Coming down into Monaco.
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In the garage in Monaco.
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Me having a quiet drink at dinner in the hotel.
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Swedish friends of ours (not on Top Run) came down to catch up with us. They had collected their Murci that morning in Paris after it had been impounded by French police for doing 200kph on another rally (Carbon Black) in October 06!
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And me driving the CSL around Casino Square. Damn traffic kept ruining my lap times... :(
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Video of us leaving Monaco for the loooong drive back to London.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/OmB7FFa5-EM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/OmB7FFa5-EM</a>

We made the mistake (if you could call it that...) of sticking around in Monaco until about 4pm when we thought we might be cutting it abit fine for our midnight Chunnel crossing...
A 14 hour drive all the way through France with stupid 130kmh speed limits (we dont speed in France after DMC was fined 1000 Euro 2 years ago...). And then it started to rain. We were still on Cups on front and shitty road tyres on the back... Then the tiredness/lack of adrenaline kicked in.
We ended up getting a ferry at 4am from memory (was asleep the whole time I wasnt driving...). Didnt get back to my place in London until 830am...

It was a great trip and I am planning on taking part in Top Run 08. Dates are yet to be detirmined but the route has already been established.

There are many more photos and a few videos on both www.gt3000.com and www.gtspirit.com.

Hope you enjoyed reading/viewing this.

Cheers>>Jack
Cheers>>Jack

If you're not wasted, the day is.



Offline mhh

  • Chief Test Pilot

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Location: Adelaide
Nice work if you can get it.  Thanks for posting.  :thumbsup:



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