Originally founded in May 1999 by British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper, who invited his influential friends to join him on a driving adventure across Europe, the annual Gumball 3000 tour has evolved, over the years, into a week-long festival of live music concerts, action sports and spectacular car shows hosted in capital cities, achieving live crowds of over a million people, with a televised and online audience that reaches over 100 million households in 60 countries.
2018 sees the event celebrating its 20th Anniversary with an epic road trip travelling from London to Tokyo from 4 August to 12 August, with just 100 cars participating in this very special Anniversary Rally.
Team Alfa, represented by Gargash, the official distributor of Alfa Romeo in the UAE, will have two special vehicles taking part – a Stelvio Quadrifoglio and a Giulia Quadrifoglio – both sporting unique purple exteriors.
Shehab Gargash, who has taken part in three previous Gumball Rallies, and his co-drivers, Ahmed Al Matrooshi and Jason Appleton, along with three leading Middle East influencers and an Alfa enthusiast selected through a competition based around social media engagement, will have the experience of a lifetime travelling across the world from London to Tokyo.
The official opening of the event is on August 4 in London, with the actual rally starting with a drive to Chantilly in France on August 5, then continuing on to Milan and Bologna in Italy, before flying via Emirates to Osaka in Japan on August 7 – there will then be a further driving stage from Osaka to Tokyo via Kyoto and Nanao, with an official closing party being held in Tokyo on August 12.
"Alfa Romeo has brought the brand’s values of passion, sporty style, exquisite taste and performance to the UAE and is rapidly becoming a favourite with a whole new generation of drivers," said Simon Ellis, General Manager, Gargash Alfa Romeo. "The participation of Gargash with Alfa Romeo cars in this rally is an exciting new chapter for both brands, creating yet another trend among true car enthusiasts. We look forward to how this will help build further excitement about Alfa Romeo in the UAE market, and we’re confident of a positive outcome".
Founded in Milan, Italy in 1910, five key elements have made Alfa Romeo one of the world’s most desirable automotive brands – advanced technology, lightness and efficiency, performance and dynamism, distinctive Italian design and a unique spirit. These are the essential ingredients to create an Alfa Romeo and which deliver "la meccanica delle emozioni" ("the mechanics of emotions" in English). This distinctive line, used worldwide in Italian only, pays homage to the homeland where the legend was born over a century ago.
The modern-day standard-bearers of the new Alfa Romeo generation, the Giulia and Stelvio both bear the legendary Quadrifoglio badge, which certifies their qualities in terms of class-topping performance, handling and weight/power ratio, specific external and internal features, exclusive powerplants and a genuine Alfa Romeo sound. Equipped with powerful, all-aluminium 510hp six-cylinder 2.9-litre turbo petrol engines, they see a new page being written for the brand that never ceases to surprise with a model that combines the past, present and future and are the most brilliant examples of Alfa Romeo’s automobile design, style and technical excellence.
Conceived as a good-luck charm in the heroic period of motorsports, the Quadrifoglio (four-leaf clover) – written with a capital "Q" – has distinguished the sports and industrial history of Alfa Romeo and has become the logo for race cars and the more powerful and exclusive road vehicles.
The first Quadrifoglio emblems were painted directly onto cars. Later, when the Quadrifoglio became a feature of production vehicles it was changed into a badge. The Quadrifoglio badge is designed and individually handcrafted in Italy, elevating the emblem itself almost to a work of art.