I’ve been meaning to write this blog for some time now. Long-time followers of my Twitter and Instagram will know I’m a huge fan of Gumball 3000. I have made some great friendships and acquaintances via a shared love of the rally. In 2017 I was lucky enough to be invited but didn’t have a spare kidney to sell for the entry fee. At the time I wrote this blog “So I have been invited to the 2017 Gumball 3000!!”
Since then, I’ve realised that the dream of being a fully fledged participant in the rally is a long way off but taking photographs of it isn’t. I have been a keen amateur photographer for a couple of years. However, being The Prison Lawyer often gets in the way of the practice required to take great photos.
I managed to photograph Gumball 3000 as it passed through Scotland in 2014 and 2016. At the moment the goal is to find a way – and the time – to photograph the whole rally. In my view, the most iconic photographs of Gumball 3000 have been taken on the road and not necessarily at the start line or checkpoints. The interaction between the cars, participants and their surroundings make for fantastic street photography, something that’s not so easy to do when there are big crowds.
In 2018, Gumball 3000’s 20th Anniversary Rally travelled from London to Tokyo. It was clear from the outset that it was going to be a special rally. My good friend @officialdubrun was lucky enough to get an invite. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to go but it was fun for him to receive an invitation to the world’s best rally.
When the route was announced we decided to take a family trip to London so that I could again stalk the rally and take photographs. Gumball 3000 were kind enough to give me a press pass for the start line.
We arrived in London on the Friday before the flag drop on Sunday at Covent Garden. On the way to the hotel we spotted our first participant making their way through the London traffic.
On the Saturday morning I collected my press pass and went off in search of the cars. I walked towards the Mondrian London – the hotel where the participants would be staying and registering later in the afternoon. I had an arrangement to catch up with my Gumballer friend Charles Adam AKA Big Angry when he arrived from Houston. On the way I discovered a public car park where the cars were being stickered up with the Gumball 3000 livery and sponsor logos. There were car transporters dropping off cars such as @teamsalamones Lamborghini.
After taking a few pictures I headed round to the hotel. It was fun watching the comings and going of all the Gumballers arriving to check in and register. When Charles arrived he was good enough to introduce me to BunB and one of my favourite photographers, Estevan Oriol. I had a brief chat with MrJWW and then headed in search of more cars and photo opportunities.
On the way back via Covent Garden I bumped into Paynton Heath of RAGIT Media who was there covering the official media. It was great to eventually meet in person people I had been chatting with online. Other than Charles, I was too shy to take any selfies with anyone.
On the Sunday morning, I got up early and headed back to the car park and the hotel. After the drivers’ briefing I walked swiftly up to the start line. Again it was fun to meet more people that I had interacted online with, people like Matin2Smoove, Joe Achilles and Rick from Dogtooth. The highlight, however, was having a very quick chat with legendary Gumball photographer Richard P Walton.
I took in excess of 1000 photographs over the two days. Here are selection of the photos in no particular order. As time goes on I will add more so please check back.