They're Set Up in Salt Lake City: Team 72 to Rejoin the Gumball in a 360 Modena

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Jason Junkers (we like to refer to him as Ju-88) and his dad cracked up their Viper during the Euro leg of the Gumball. But wealthy, experimental jet-set and no trash that they are, they hopped a plane back to NYC and hopped in a Ferrari 360 to rejoin the rally when it hits Salt Lake. Jason dropped us a line to let us know that the other Gumballers are on notice. Gumballers, you're on notice. The Crazy 88's recount of Team #72's Gumball adventure so far is after the jump.

I noticed that you had a write-up on your website about the #72 car driven by my father and myself. I thought I could contribute with some more info on the incident and photos. The trip started off with a huge adrenaline rush on the way out of London in our 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10, as about 250,000 people cheered us on from the streets and the bridges above the highway.


After a quick ride through the Eurotunnel we arrived in France, where almost every overpass was equipped with speed cameras. At the first gas station in France, the cops were stopping everyone at the exit and matching driver's license info to license plates (most likely so they could send the tickets home). At that gas station we also had a couple unregistered drivers joining us with Ariel Atoms...

When we crossed into Berlin they pulled us over at the border, but just so the cops and the gathered crowd could see the cars. Then, a little further down the road, the highway was blocked off and all cars were forced into a rest stop. All of the un-stickered cars were let through in the rest stop and all off the Gumballers were asked to step out of their cars and the cars were searched. Our radar detector was confiscated (my new Passport Solo S2 Cordless!) but not much else happened. I tried to keep it, but he threatened me with arrest so I let him have it! As we approached the Belgian checkpoint, we wondered if the GPS was sending us the wrong way, but then we started to see civilian cars (non-Gumballers) parked by the hundreds along these small country roads and eventually we came upon a mob of people that covered an entire intersection and beyond.


A little before the intersection, we met up with a Mercedes SLR, and as the police tried to hold back the crowd, another officer escorted us to the entry way with sirens and lights. After we made it through the mobs of people we approached a long dark dirt road that was only lit with hundreds of candles on both sides. We followed the road to an unbelievable castle with a huge lake in front that was also surrounded by candles. Inside the castle we met the Prince of Belgium and enjoyed some food and drink, and then set off for the breakfast checkpoint in Vienna.

Right before the German border there was some highway construction in Belgium, so we were slowed down to about 50 mph and then just as the construction ended we were in Germany and the speed limit was whatever the car can do. We were cruising at speeds up to 175mph at some points as we barreled down the Autobahn with some Gumballers ahead and most behind. At about 3am the ground started to get wet from the high humidity, and with the low weight on the rear wheels of the Viper, the back end started to hydroplane on a slight bend in the highway and the back end of the car started coming around the right side and it slammed the passenger side (where I was sitting) right into the divider and bounced us around (doing a full 360) into the middle of the highway.


We were able to pull off to the side but the highway was littered with pieces of Viper and we could not go on. Although we were pissed off about not being able to continue, luckily neither my father nor I were injured at all. The police came and a few other Gumballers stopped to see that we were ok, but we hitched a ride with the flatbed and sat in a coffee shop to determine our options.

One option was to abandon it all and go home, the other was to rent a car and do the Europe leg only, and the last was to fly home to New York, pick up another car and drive to Salt Lake City to meet the Gumballers when they arrive and continue with the US Leg. At 10am we were on a flight leaving out of Frankfurt, Germany. And by Tuesday morning we were on our way to Salt Lake City in the Ferrari 360 Modena. We just arrived today and we cant wait to see the rest of the crew tomorrow evening and let them know that Team 72 is back in action!


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