Out of the black – and into the red?

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarMonday, October 13th, 2008

 
 

Now the Japanese Grand Prix is out of the way, we’ve got the chance to post something that caught our eye last weekend. This is the story of the Carbon Black rally, an event where people with more money than sense smash up prestige motors and, these days, get arrested for their pains.

Given the increasing attention it seems to be attracting, and the bigger economic issues that are seriously limiting the chances of the super-rich to heap up money to burn, this kind of silly excess could soon be a piece of nostalgia akin to the apocryphal images of 80s investment bankers snorting cocaine off naked supermodels. But, in the meantime, read and enjoy. Or possibly weep…

A madcap rally and another pile-up. This time no one died

It was billed as the ‘craziest and most exclusive car rally ever’, a strictly invitation-only event in which wannabe playboys drove high-performance Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis and Bentleys to Europe’s most exotic cities, where they partied with glamour models as if the credit crunch had never happened.

But the organisers of the Carbon Black rally, in which 60 drivers raced 30 vehicles across five countries from the UK to Monaco, experienced a different sort of crunch after two of their vehicles were involved in a collision while allegedly trying to outrun Italian police. Now the cars have been confiscated and the drivers fined.

The crash has highlighted the increasingly high-risk nature of the unofficial road races that are alarming police on the continent, who say there are now around eight similar events each year.

A burgeoning industry operating the events, which cost tens of thousands of pounds to participate in, has sprung up in the UK over the past decade. But as the events’ profiles have increased, so, too, have the accidents. Last year, a husband and wife in Macedonia died when their VW Golf was hit by a Porsche 911 Carrera driven by two Britons competing in the better-known Gumball rally. Read full story here…

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