FAY DISPATCHES by Peter Howarth: MAXIMILLION COOPER
'It’s not a race, it’s a road trip,’ he says of the Gumball 3000 rally.
The key to his success, he says, has been that he never wanted to run a traditional motoring event.
‘A lot of what has inspired me over the years and what I have aimed to do with Gumball has come from challenging tradition and convention,’ says Cooper.
The would-be racing driver had the extraordinary experience of studying under John Galliano during the week at Saint Martin’s School of Art, with his classmates Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. For years, he was a part of London's most fashionable circles and bringing together the worlds of modelling, fashion, music and extreme sports. Few could boast an address book quite as eclectic as his.
It was this cultural melting pot that gave Cooper a crazy idea. In short, he’d create a swashbuckling F1 organisation that would bring glamour back to the sport.
Now, 21 rallies later, Gumball 3000 has grown into a multifaceted global business. Cooper still takes part and he is joined by a band of celebrities, many of whom return year after year. Alumni include Lewis Hamilton, Hugh Hefner, Kate Moss, Adrien Brody, Quentin Tarantino, Snoop Dogg, Jay Kay, Johnny Knoxville, Daryl Hannah, Jodie Kidd, Cypress Hill, the Happy Mondays, Damon Hill, deadmau5 and more.
Gumball 3000 Sony Playstation video game made top 10 in the global gaming charts and there has also been an Xbox game. Both platforms will feature new releases in the next couple of years, and 2021 will see the launch of the first ever Gumball 3000 mobile App game.