First run in 1967, this self-described “granddaddy of all desert races” takes place November 14-17, 2013, starting in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. It’s an 883-mile “brutally rugged” loop course that cover terrain from mountains, gullies, on the peninsula. Different vehicle classes compete on the same course, including motorcycles, ATVs, trucks and custom race vehicles. The race has claimed celebrities Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and James Garner as fans.
World’s Wackiest Racers
Ride around the Northampton International Raceway in four vehicles that you don’t see every day. For £99, you’ll spend the day doing laps in the world’s hottest desk and the fastest sofa, half a mile in a double-decker car and five miles in the countryside in the world’s fastest bed. The sofa, featured on BBC’s Top Gear, reaches speeds of 140 km/h.
Bonneville Salt Lake Flats Racing
As a display of mechaincal ingenuity, this race is like no other. Cars reaching speeds of 764 km/h race against the clock, and according to the race website, many vehicles are geared so high (for top speed) that they need to be pushed away from the starting line.
Keith Gaeth and Elaine Leach from California watch racers trying to break land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in 2006. The Gaeths have been coming to speed racing in Bonneville since 1959, and were at the World of Speed event. REUTERS/Todd Korol
World’s Greatest Drag Race
In 2011 Motor Trend Magazine staged the “world’s greatest drag race,” pitting Ferrari, Porsche and BMW against contenders from Audi, Mercedes, Lotus, Lexus and Nissan. Combined, the cars had more than 5000 horsepower, 4000 lb-ft of torque and were worth more than $1.5-million. The winner? The Nissan GT-R. Watch the video here.
Ed Bolian recently broke the New York to Los Angeles speed record, completing the 2,803-mile trip in 28 hours, 50 minutes and 30 seconds, driving at an average speed of about 160 km/h along with two co-drivers. He spent 18 months planning the trip and modifying a Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG with extra gas taks, GPS, radar detectors and a switch to kill the rear lights. The trio recorded only 46 minutes of non-driving time for the trip. The first Cannonball Run took place in the 1971, with a time of 35:53. Tne 1979 race inspired a 1981 movie featuring Burt Reynolds.
Spanning two continents and five countries, the 2014 rally route takes participants from Miami to Ibiza, Spain. Participants travel about 4,800 km on public roads to memorable sights and great cities, from beaches to montains, attending glamorous parties each evening. Not a race, this rally was created in 1999 by ex-racing driver, designer and British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper. The week-long festival now draws crowds of over a million people, according to the company’s website. http://www.gumball3000.com/#/home