The 911 Years: Gumball 3000 Manchester 2014
I’m still out on the car runs with Supercar Driver when time allows, and the latest venture was to support the Gumball 3000 rally in Manchester. That was a very surreal day. We travelled in convoy with a whole heap of sports and supercars towards the Manchester stadium. Waiting there were crowds and crowds of people, surrounding the cars and taking photos. The humble 911 was a shrinking violet amongst some ultra-rare and very impressive cars – including a Ferrari F40, Jaguar XJ220 and Alpha 8C, but it didn’t look too out of place either. A plus point was the priority parking and the backstage-pass allowing you into the area where the Gumball contestants arrived.
When directed to park on the entrance bridge, it certainly made me feel a bit like a fish-in-a-bowl and felt quite bizarre being so surrounded by people. I guess this is what being a celebrity or owner of a Ferrari or Lamborghini must feel like and in that regards, I’m more than happy with the anonymous Porsche!
Unfortunately, Gumball was massively late leaving Edinburgh on the day and many of their cars didn’t show as the Rally changed the Manchester stop from being ‘compulsory’ to ‘optional’. The ones that did arrtive were so far behind schedule a lot of people left much earlier than they arrived.
I think it was a bit of a let-down as despite the big stage and lots of presence, there was no music, no DJ or other crowd entertainment. As a consequence, there was quite a lot of praise for the SCD club for putting on a great display which would have otherwise been pretty much a washout of a day. But that said, the sun was shining and the SCD display was fab. There were plenty of people to talk to and I rather enjoyed it.