Bullrun 2004 Rally History
Day 1:On June 04, 2004, the inaugural Bullrun rally set out from Hollywood Boulevard - Los Angeles to sunny Miami. The first ever Bullrun event attracted over 100 cars including Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Porsches, a Chevy Avalanche, and even an L39 Aero Fighter Jet! Paris Hilton dropped the starting flag as the cars set off in a blaze of glory at 9:00am destined for the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. Little did the drivers know what to expect from this year’s Bullrun rally!
The rally headed west to the Parumph Speedway, Parumph NV for some hot laps and some head-to-head style racing. There was only one problem – the majority of the Bullrunners had set out following Team Polizei – who looked like they knew where they were going. Alas – they hadn’t the slightest clue where they were going. Richard Rawlings was the first to make it to the first checkpoint of the rally and was eager to hit the road to Vegas. Even back in the early days of Bullrun, Rawlings was determined to win. It’s not a race, it’s a rally, but try telling that to Rawlings; a man who settles for nothing less than first place. During the first leg of the rally, something big was about to take place. Jessie Rodriguez, a Las Vegas Businessman had challenged Rocky Stewart; the CIO of Oracle to a flat out race on the highway.
Jessie’s weapon of choice; a brand new, 8 day old Lamborghini Murcialago.
Rocky’s weapon of choice; a decommissioned L39 Aero Fighter jet.
After storming through death valley, the Bullrunners arrived at the Mandalay Bay – exhausted from the day’s driving. But driving is only half the fun on Bullrun – the parties are what makes Bullrun complete. The Bullrunners partied the night away like there was no tomorrow.
Day 2:The second leg of the Bullrun rally took the Bullrunners from Las Vegas, NV 215 miles east to Speed World Motorplex in Arizona. The road to Arizona took the Bullrunners to Hoover Dam where the Bullrunners were stopped and searched due to terrorist threats. Omar Sherif in the Porsche 911 Turbo decided that it would be a great idea to do a doughnut right on the top of Hoover Dam. The authorities didn’t take Omar’s antics too lightly, but they were a bit confused as to who did the doughnut. The Hoover Dam authorities approached Nicholas Cowell in his silver Ferrari 360 and promptly put him in hand-cuffs.
After realizing that he had the wrong man, the police officer let Nicholas go. Since the whole incident was caught on film, the officer did not charge anyone for the doughnut.
Later that day Alex Roy and Nicholas Frankl in the Polizei car were flying down the highway relying on their radar detector to alert them if the police were near-by. Unfortunately for them, their radar detector was not working properly and as they crested the hill, a police officer clocked them in excess speeds of 125mph. Alex Roy was taken to prison.
Alex was later joined in prison by Bullrunners Joe Macari and Jaimie McLeod. The three of them eventually got out of prison and were back on the road in no time. Richard Rawlings was the first driver to arrive at the checkpoint of the day at the Speed World racetrack. At the checkpoint the Bullrunners took part in some drag racing. The Bullrunners raced their Ferrari’s down the track and a few of the busmen raced the Bullrun luggage busses down the track. The best race of the day was between Nicholas Frankl in the Team Polizei and the Bullrun aerial filming helicopter. The Polizei took victory over the helicopter and lifted the spirit of former inmate; Alex Roy. The final destination of the day was at the Phoenician, Scottsdale Arizona.
Day3:The third lag of the rally started out in a cloud of smoke as Russell Mitchell of the Exile team decided that he wanted to smoke out all of Scottsdale. He pointed his custom motorbike towards his Team’s support van and gunned the engine. The smoke show caught the attention of Bullrun cop; Alex Roy who promptly told Russell to cut it out as nearly the entire parking lot had been engulfed by smoke from the burnout. As Russell put his foot on the ground, his blue jeans got caught in the belt of his bike and ripped his pants to shreds. The blue jean pieces got caught in the gears and the bike ceased to work.
The rest of the Bullrunners left the Phoenician as scheduled at 9:00am headed to the checkpoint in Sedona Arizona. Team Polizei was the first team to arrive at the checkpoint.
On the way to the checkpoint, yet another infamous Bullrun event occurred. Tarun Mahatri in the Porsche 911 Turbo decided that he was tired of his co-driver Omar Sherif and needed to switch cars. The Bentley Azure pulled up beside them and Tarun quickly jumped into their car as they drove 100mph down the highway.
After the checkpoint the Bullrunners headed back out onto the open road destined for Santa Fe Joe Macari having been arrested the day before was eager to get out of Arizona. One more arrest for Joe and he would be put in the slammer for good. Unfortunately for him, the Arizona highway patrol was not done with him yet. Joe was pulled over and taken back to the police station where he was processes. Luckily for him, the arrest from the day before had not yet been entered into the Arizona database and he was let go with just a ticket. Dave Hurly of the Exile Motorbike team was also pulled over for making an unsafe lane change. He pulled up alongside another Bullrunner and held onto the door at 60mph. The police were not too happy with him.
The Bullrunners then made their way to the Hyatt Regency Santa Fe, NM. Richard Rawlings was the first to arrive due to his wife Sue’s navigational skill. While A collision on the freeway was holding up the majority of the Bullrunners, Rawlings made a U-turn in the median and backtracked to a previous exit and went around the wreck. He and his wife were ecstatic when they arrived first, nearly half an hour before the next car. The Bullrunners then headed down to the Cotton Woods for dinner and the nightly Bullrun party.
Day 4:Leg 4 of the world`s most glamorous rally started out at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Fe, NM. Ashley Hames from UK television network; Bravo, decided that he wanted to ride along with Richard Rawlings. Ashley`s plans included leaving Santa Fe around mid-day. Rawlings was not very happy about this because the final checkpoint for fourth leg of the rally was Richard`s home town; Dallas, TX. They eventually compromised that they would leave at 6:00am. The total distance that the Bullrunners covered on day 4 was 792 miles!
The Bullrunners were handed their route cards and they headed out to the Billy the Kid museum in Fort Sumner, NM. Richard Rawlings immediately took the lead in his 2003 Chevy Avalanche closely followed by Team Polizei, Richards main rival on the rally.
An incident of mention from Leg 4 is the fender bender between Richard Rawlings` Avalanche and a Civilian Audi. Rawlings, having been passed by Alex Roy of Team Polizei, was eager to get out front. Richard Rawlings dove his Avalanche into a construction lane that had been marked off by traffic cones. Unfortunately for him, a civilian car had already pulled this illegal move to try to show up the Bullrunners.
Both vehicle briefly touched and Rawlings pulled over to assess the damage. His Avalanche was okay, but the Audi suffered a detached side mirror and some paint scratches. Richard Rawlings tossed the guy $300.00 and gave him his insurance info and asked if he could get back on the road. Sure enough, he was back on the road in less than a minute.
Meanwhile at the checkpoint, Alex Roy and Nicholas Frankl of Team Polizei were the first to arrive. Alex was overjoyed when he didn`t see Rawlings` big ol` Texas truck sitting in the parking lot. When Richard arrived, he explained to Alex that he was involved in a wreck and would have come in first if the incident never happened.
The Bullrunners then left the checkpoint destined for Dallas. Before they left the checkpoint, the local police alerted the Bullrunners that there would be a lot of police up ahead. Morris Veronique and Nicholas Cowell in the silver Ferrari 360 did not listen to this warning and were pulled over twice by the police. The second time they were taken to the courthouse to deal with the judge. They were let off with just a ticket. Another Bullrunner who ignored the police warning at the checkpoint was British Actor Nick Moran.
Richard Rawlings was the first to arrive in Dallas, and he was ecstatic! Having won the majority of the stages on the rally already, Rawlings had now officially taken first place in the rally standings.
The fifth leg of the 2004 Bullrun rally took competators from Dallas, TX down to New Orleans, LA. The Bullrunners had to be out of bed and ready for the day’s driving at 9:00am sharp. Yesterday’s rain caused problems for Dave Hurly, the only remaining member of Team Exile, the motorcycle team from Britain. He not only had to deal with the torrential downpour, but he had to do it on his custom motorbike with no suspension.
The Bullrunners departed the Magnolia hotel, heading south to the day’s checkpoint at Belle Rose, LA. Richard and Sue Rawlings decided to drop off the highway early and take a shortcut to shave off a few miles and gain an edge on their competitors. Unfortunately for Rawlings, one of his lucky bull horns on the front of his Avalanche had broken off. After that, he got lost, and had to refuel on the side of the road using one of his extra-large Texan jerry cans.
Team Polizei took the lead as they blazed down the highway to New Orleans, but it wasn’t long before they and the rest of the lead-pack started to attract the attention of the New Orleans police. The polizei were pulled over along with the yellow Lamborghini for causing havoc and driving in excess of 100mph. Alex Roy was pulled out of his car and was threatened with another trip to the county jail. They were let off with a ticket.
Richard Rawlings’ day went from bad to worse when he was also pulled over by the police for speeding. This put him behind the leaders by at least 20 minutes. Other Bullrunners like Nick Moran and Nicholas Cowell made it onto New Orleans in great time. Other Bullrunners like Ashley Hames didn’t arrive at the checkpoint until well after nightfall.
The official Bullrun party in the French Quarter, New Orleans featured a performance by the Cuban Brothers. The party raged on all night and carried on into the early hours of the morning.
Day 6:The sixth leg of the Bullrun rally traveled east from party central; New Orleans, LA to Tampa Bay, FL. The Rally took off from the Ritz Carlton hotel in the French Quarter at 9:00am sharp. In true Bullrun style, Joe Macari in his BMW M3 decided to wake up the hung-over city of New Orleans by shredding his rubber tires on the pavement as his car spun around in circles.
Richard Rawlings took the lead as the convoy of over 1000 supercars tore their way out of Louisiana and into Alabama. One thing that Alabama has become notorious for when it comes to rallies is their police activity. The Alabama highway patrol was determined to pull over as many Bullrunners as possible. The Alabama police force deployed a police helicopter to pace the Bullrunners and report their every traffic violation to ground units – waiting to snag the Bullrunners at every turn off. Team Polizei, having spotted the chopper early on, decided to pull off the road and hide in the bushes until police activity had ceased. Lucky for them, the chopper was not concerned with them and continued to pace the rest of the Bullrunners down the freeway.
British Actor Nick Moran was one of the first Bullrunners to be pulled over by the Alabama police. The officer was not impressed with Nick and the rest of the Bullrunners for speeding on Alabama’s public roads.
Having eluded the police helicopter, Alex Roy and Nicholas Frankl found themselves at the back of the pack. Frankl decided to pull a sneaky one down the hard shoulder amidst the traffic. Unbenounced to him, there was a police car sitting up at the traffic light, and the cop saw exactly what Frankl had done. Alex Roy, doing what he does best, decided to lie to the cop, telling him that they were low on gas and needed to find a gas station ASAP! The police officer laughed and told them where to go. Luckily for Team Polizei, they did not have to sit at the size of the road while the police officer gave them a hefty fine.
Trying to avoid further police encounters, Alex Roy phoned the police and told them that there were a bunch of sports cars running people off the road heading westbound towards New Orleans. The Bullrunners were actually heading eastbound. This tactic proved to be effective because the police started to move in on the alleged sports cars heading the wrong direction.
Upon entering Florida, the Bullrunners were surprised to see that the cops were actually waiting for them to cross the state line. An estimated 60 police cruisers sat on between the Florida state line and Tampa. Anthony Galligar in the Euro spec Bentley Azure was pulled over along with a Porsche 911 Turbo immediately after passing into Florida. The cop was less than pleased with their erratic driving and gave them both a $400.00 ticket. Rickard Rawlings was the first to arrive at the evening checkpoint.
Day 7:The seventh and final leg of the inaugural Bullrun rally began with Bullrunner and UK TV presenter Ashley Hames stirring up some trouble down in the parking lot of the Grand Hyatt. Determined to win the final stage of the rally, he decided to sabotage the two big players in this year’s event. Ashley began by deflating one of the tires on Team Polizei’s 800bhp Renntech Mercedes CL600. Ashley than made his way over to the modified 2003 Chevy Avalanche driven by Richard Rawlings. Having not figured out what to do to the vehicle, Ashley simply left a note on the windshield of Richard’s devil bull. He and English DJ Barry Ashworth then took off early heading straight down into Miami.
After waking up and finding that his tire had been deflated, Alex Roy knew that he was up against a new rival. Having pumped up his tire, he and the rest of the Bullrunners headed south to the first checkpoint of the day; Sebring International Raceway. Most of the teams jumped onto the freeway, hoping that the drive would be quick and easy. Unfortunately for them, the Florida turnpike was filled with cops!
Richard and Sue Rawlings, along with best friends Michael Jackson and Tim West, took an alternate route to Sebring. They were told by the Tampa police that the major highways would be crawling with police and were given an alternative, quicker route. Rawlings and Jackson missed their turnoff to get back onto the freeway only miles from Sebring. Seeing as though this was the last day of the rally, everyone wanted to arrive in pole position. Richard did manage to correct his mistake in time and arrived at Sebring in first place.
At the track, the Bullrunners were given the opportunity to do a few hot laps and get their finely tuned machined up to their top speed on the back straightaway without having to worry about the police. Nicholas Frankl stole the tropy as he clocked the fastest official time around the track in Keith Privet’s 2003 Ferrari 360 Challenge Strradele.
Alex Roy borrowed Jessie Rodriguez’s 8 day old Lamborghini Murcialago for some tack time around the famous track. All went well until Alex came to the last final turn on the track. He got into the corner, it was wet, he braked too late, he spun around, and he bit the concrete barrier. The damage to the front of the car was well in excess of $40,000 US. Alex was not in a great mood after figuring out how much money he owed to Jessie to fix his Lamborghini.
The Bullrrunners then left Sebring and headed off to their final destination of the rally; Miami, FL. Team Polizei was the first out of the checkpoint and they were convinced that they knew where they were going. Unfortunately, Alex Roy’s multiple GPS units led them the wrong way, and they had the entire Bullrun convoy behind them. Alex pulled over and blocked off traffic while the rest of the Bullrunners turned around and headed back towards Sebring.
Meanwhile Ashley and Barry who took off out of Tampa nearly an hour before everyone else, and skipped the checkpoint at Sebring, decided to stop off for a bite to eat at the local Wendy’s. As they returned to their vehicle, they realized that they had lost their keys and had to be towed to the finish line on the back of a flatbed.
The rest of the Bullrunners made their way into Miami, and for once, Richard Rawlings was not the first to arrive. HE was beat by his best friend Michael Jackson in the black Porsche 911. Team Polizei arrived third to the finish line followed by Jessie Rodriguez in his now damaged Lamborghini Murcialago. The Bullrun 20004 rally had officially come to an end. All that was left for the Bullrunners was the official awards ceremony. See the Bullrun awards section of the website for details!