Bullrun Race Mimics ‘Cannonball Run’

Imagine yourself sitting in a Lamborghini, at the starting line of Bullrun 2005 — in Hollywood, California. You’re about to rally across America with 99 other affluent car aficionados and celebrities. Paris Hilton stands a few feet away, perched atop another dope ride, moments away from waving the start flag. You don’t know where exactly you’ll drive over the next week, but what you do know is that you are about to embark on a eight-day VIP extravaganza. There’s no doubt about it, life doesn’t get much better.

Bullrun is the most prestigious and insane event of its kind, wherein 100 (invite only) participants drive (read: party like rock stars) across America in what mimics the famous movie “Cannonball Run.” And, there’s even a Bullrun Europe, for those abroad. Though the rally is NOT a race, it does have its own set of rules that unearth a winner at the end of the week.

IMAGE 1, PARIS HILTON AT START

Brits Andy Duncan and David Green decided several years ago to take their amateur super car club to the next level. Hence the birth of Bullrun, the world’s most glamorous rally. It’s not cheap either, standard entry for the American race is Ã?£7,500 pounds for two drivers — don’t forget you have to find a kick-ass car, too.

In a recent interview, Duncan said, “we’re not car snobs by any stretch of the imagination. Our goal is to bring together a very interesting group of people.” Thus, if you can get on the invitation list, you might be able to drive your GremlinâÂ?¦ though you’d probably feel a little out of place with a Ferrari Spyder rolling alongside.

Initially, Duncan and Green began with other rally events, but soon realized the marketing and product-placement opportunities of a more business-focused and client-friendly rally.

At the time, Duncan was a bored investment banker, and Green a professional driver and media company executive. Now, major sponsors include Mattel and Krispy Kreme, and the founding duo has negotiated a two-year, ten-episode mini series with Bravo in Europe âÂ?¦ and they’re even launching their own line of sports cars.

Brilliant� very, very brilliant

Britain’s The Leading Edge Sports Car Company has partnered with Duncan and Green to develop their first Bullrun RT (Road and Track). The car is as comfortable with a weekend driver as it is on the track, where the guys claim it really shines. It boasts a top speed of more than 150 mph and does 0-60 in just over 4 seconds.

Though the official picture of the Bullrun RT remains under wraps, Duncan mentioned that the first production models are finished, and it won’t be long before the first image surfaces on Bullrun’s new web site later this month:. In addition, those who don’t have the dough (or an invitation) for the rally, or a Bullrun RT, may soon purchase the official DVD of the USA event. The DVD may be a little more affordable, considering the Bullrun RT will cost approximately $48,000.

Call it Bullrun mania if you want, but really, it’s just awesome business branding. In fact, Duncan admits, “what we’ve done from the start, and sought to build, is a brandâÂ?¦ our event is a vertically integrated multimedia event that allows our corporate sponsors to leverage the platform of the rally and it’s media coverage to bring exposure to a variety of their products.”

Business aside, Duncan and Green’s genius is just plain old, rowdy fun for millionaires. Last year’s rally commenced with a drive from Hollywood Boulevard (which closed down for the start of the event!) to Las Vegas, where participants received VIP tickets to the De La Hoya fightâÂ?¦ and then raced their supercars (and buses and helicopters) to the famous Sebring International Raceway in Florida via such locations as Dallas and New Orleans before finishing in Miami Beach.

Sound like a little more fun than a day in the office?

Though Duncan and Green spend the bulk of their year in Europe, they do spend several months in California preparing for the event. Overall, these two guys seem to have made a dream into a reality, and are wildly successful at the same time. In fact, they’ve even had thoughts of going public in the future, should everything work out according to plan.

Brilliant�very, very brilliant

If you miss this July’s U.S. event, you can always participate in Europe tour this fall. That isâÂ?¦ if you can get an invitation. With MTV covering last year’s European rally from London to Ibiza, and the airing (and re-airing 10 times!) of the USA rally series on Bravo in Europe, many of the participants are celebrities, just from being there! So, let’s get this straightâÂ?¦ participants rally across a continent, party like rock stars and become celebrities at the same time? Could you ask for a better vacation?

Brilliant�very, very brilliant

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