Gold Rush Rally is probably the most successful road rally not named Gumball at this point. When I learned they were going to be here in Austin, I knew I had to see the cavalcade of new money ballers with their super/hypercars. Click through to see how the group both completely confirmed and completely shattered the stereotypes you’d associate with the high-money road rally crowd.
The sound of several high revving V8s blasting around on the short track greeted me as I pulled up to the gates of COTA, which was still in the process of removing the giant piles of dirt, giant half pipes, and the like from it’s pavement. Gold Rush rented the spec Miata short course, which uses the section all around the hairpin at the beginning of the long straight and some of the straight itself. There were some amazing cars there, mind blowing cars. But, Gold Rush attracts a more…how do I say this gently…affluent crowd. They aren’t used to taking directions from people, and this showed during the track session. I will say this right off, most of these people were lovely, kind, loved cars, and were just doing what they enjoyed. But, there was one specific dude in a new Mercedes AMG GT who was LIVID that someone who drove a Miata for fun was telling him where he could or could not pass people. Said dude was a douche. But, again, there were plenty of super nice people.
The great people there were some of the ones you would most likely expect to be assholes. There was Bryan Salmone, who is known as “The Most Sterotypical Lamborghini owner in the world” him and his wife(?) were very lovely, surprisingly humble when given praise, and just really fun people. And he could wheel that Aventador, which isn’t easy.
I want to give the most props to the owners of the Pur Blanc Bugatti and the legend among heros who was doing the rally in his Lexus LFA, bringing the roar of that V10 to the masses of the United States. Ben, the Bugatti owner was really nice, and was wheeling that SuperSport Veyron around the track. He tracked it hard and boiled the brakes on that multi-million dollar car, letting that car be used how it is meant to. My hat is off to you Ben, and it was a pleasure meeting you.
The man in the LFA, I didn’t get the chance to meet, but apparently, he had just gotten back on the road after being arrested for speeding in one of the flyover states that they don’t stop in. I have to wonder if this Mystery man was Patrick George of Jalopnik, but alas, my fellow Patrick was nowhere to be seen. The LFA is a car that I long to own. If I was crazy rich, it would probably be the first thing I bought. It’s not the best looking, it’s not the fastest, it doesn’t even have a cupholder, but it is a carbon fiber body wrapped around a V10 sourced from Toyota’s F1 effort. It sounded amazing every single time it went by. The sonic wail of that engine is intoxicating and I just can’t help but want it more and more. I doff my cap to you sir, and thank you for taking this beast on the road.
The coolest experience for me that morning was being invited to ride shotgun in the C6 Z06 that an instructor was using to lead everyone on the parade laps of the circuit. Getting to lead that much horsepower and money around, in the passenger seat of a very impressive Corvette was an experience that I won’t forget for a long while. That and getting a ride along in a tuned 997.2 Turbo S, lovingly dubbed “Red Guts” was just proof that part of the spirit of this event was sharing the love of the automobile with anyone who was interested.
The one thing I can take away from this all is that, while obnoxious as they can be sometimes, the people that go on these rallies don’t get anything from them other than some amazing experiences and the camaraderie of driving these amazing machines coast to coast. Not only making sure that these exotics get miles on them, but taking them to the track and really exploring what all their money goes into. Is everyone there perfect? Hardly. But are they all enthusiasts like you and me? Absolutely. You keep rocking Gold Rush, and I hope to see the circus again next year.
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