10th Gumball 3000 Rally starts today in San FranciscoEnlarge Photo
Once the 120-car rally flies en masse from Las Vegas to North Korea, it will proceed from Pyongyang to the Chinese cities of Shanghai, then Xuzhou and finally ending in Beijing. The roughly 3,000mi (4,800km) journey will take just eight days. Along the way participants will see the Mass Games in North Korea and the Olympics in Beijing. The rally is also known for its high-speed touring, hard-core partying and generally high profile.
Last year's rally was cut short by an accident that killed two bystanders when a Porsche 911 being driven in the event collided with a Volkswagen Golf. The man driving the VW died at the scene, and his wife eventually died from injuries sustained in the crash. Maximillion Cooper, the rally's coordinator, released a statement canceling the event that night. It was the first time in the event's 9-year history that a fatality had occurred.
The group hopes the 10th anniversary will be a fun and worry-free event, however. Some of this year's famous participants include: David Hasselhoff, star of TV's original Knight Rider and Baywatch; Travis Barker, the former drummer for Blink 182; and Rob Dyrdek, pro skateboarder and star of MTV's Rob & Big. The latter two will co-drive the Rogue Status Scion xB (pictured) in the rally. Not a traditional Gumball entry on the basis of either speed or cachet, the Rogue Status xB is a heavily styled and unique-looking vehicle, however, and its celebrity payload also helps it attain Gumball status.