We've been covering the Gumball 3000 and the recent tragedy in Macedonia in a way that may seem to paint the cross-European rally, and all others, with a brush that may be a bit too wide. There are some very cool and very good people who participated in this rally, like our friends at Team Polizei, who appear to run the rally in both good humor and in a way that's safe. These are people looking to have fun and play a role in something cool — they're not seriously treating it like an honest-to-goodness race. It's the people who turn that rally spirit into something akin to a money-making road race endeavor that cause the problems. All objective reports we've seen to this point seem to indicate that after the crash the other night, there was a cover-up of that information in order to not cause cancellation of the event. It would appear that Team Polizei, as well as other drivers, were concerned about these "rumors" they were hearing of a serious accident the night prior and confronted Gumball 3000 organizer Maximillion Cooper. Here's the official statement from Team Polizei:
"Team Polizei's Alex Roy & Michael Ross feel compelled to challenge Gumball 3000 over the untenable position in which participants were placed.
At 8am on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, Maximillion Cooper addressed a driver briefing in the Sheraton Hotel, Tirana, Albania.
Despite the disturbing rumours of the fatality of a Macedonian motorist on Wednesday, May 2nd, Mr. Cooper stated that "Gumball is often the subject of wild rumours," after which the rally was allowed to proceed.
We question whether participants were given all facts available at that time, enabling them to exercise personal judgment in deciding whether to withdraw from the event immediately.
Team Polizei 144
An Open Letter From Team Polizei [gumball144.com]
Gumball 3000 Organizer Max Cooper Blames Dead Elderly Couple For Hit-And-Run Accident; "Scumball 3000" Is Not The Scummy Gumball 3000 — Enter The "Dumball 3000"; Scumball 3000 Shows Us What The Scene Of A Heart Attack Looks Like; Gumball 3000 Race Organizers Attempting To Cover Up Hit-And-Run; Gumballers Nick Morley And Matthew McConville Arrested After Hit-And-Run Fatality [internal]