2009 Gumball 3000 - Click above for a high-res image gallery

The infamous Gumball Rally is scheduled to start this weekend, and participants have started to gather in the Los Angeles area for the start of the race tomorrow. We caught up with several of the cars in Santa Monica this afternoon, already prepped with their unique liveries and vinyl wraps. The rally will officially start at 1:00pm on Saturday at the Santa Monica pier, so if you are in the Southern California area you can head down to check out all the cars and celebrities. They eight day rally will also be stopping by Las Vegas, Sante Fe, Dallas, New Orleans, and Miami, so check the Gumball web site to see when they will be coming through your city. We've put together a small preview gallery from today, but check back for plenty more photos from the start of the rally tomorrow. You can read additional details in the Gumball 3000 press release after the jump.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc


Ladies, Gentlemen, prepare to start your engines... as the 11th annual Gumball 3000 Rally from Los Angeles to Miami is about to begin!

Attracting 'rock stars' to 'royalty', the entry grid of over 100 amazing cars and participants in this year's Gumball is nothing short of spectacular! From David 'The Hoff' Hasselhoff to Jackass's Bam Margera and Ryan Dunn in a custom BMW; next to action sports legends Tony Hawk, Danny Kass, and Dave Mirra in tricked out Jeeps, Chevy Trucks and Porsches; alongside Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs, British indie stars The Enemy, MTV's Dirty Sanchez, the hilarious Cuban Brothers and the fire-breathing Fuel Girls together with vintage rocker Lemmy from Motörhead and Avenged Sevenfold – Gumball has it all – showcasing Bugatti Veyrons, Lamborghini's to Low Riders and classic American muscle cars. With event sponsors including lifestyle sportswear brand Puma providing 'Gumball 3000 Edition' driving shoes, Nixon creating unique timepieces, and Monster Energy supplying the drinks – this eight-day 'road trip' is certain to live up to all expectations of being a stylish, adrenaline fuelled adventure. Think of Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett and Captain Chaos in the 70s Cannonball Run movies and you start to get the picture. Playmates, supermodels and an international cast of eccentrics come standard issue!

On Friday May 1st Gumball 3000 is hosting a 'free' music concert on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade – With live performances from LA hipsters U-N-I, Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs and the Cuban Brothers – followed by a 'VIP' party at the Viceroy Hotel with guest DJs including DJ Spider, DJ Homicide and Beef Warehouse.

The amazing super, muscle, import and luxury cars will all be displayed next to Santa Monica Pier on parking Lot 1550 from midday on Friday May 1st - ready for the flag to drop at 1pm on Saturday 2nd May! From Santa Monica the 3000 mile route includes a spectacular sight-seeing tour of the good 'ole USA, peppered with overnight stops, parties and checkpoints in Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Dallas, New Orleans and Orlando - before crossing the finish line on Miami's Ocean Drive on Friday 8th May.

In addition to experiencing a classic road trip adventure, racetrack stop-offs at the Lonestar Motorsports Park in Sealy, Texas, and at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida will allow drivers the chance to put pedal to the metal and test their supercars to their limits. One participant that will undoubtedly use these stops to show the other drivers "how to drive" is legendary champion ex-Ferrari Formula 1 racing driver Mika Salo, winner of last years '24 Hours of Le Mans'- taking his Ferrari F430 Risi Competizione Scuderia GT2 on the rally!

Gumball 3000 Rally are officially working with the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organisation benefiting and raising awareness for the needs of severely injured United States Service men and women. Wounded Warrior representatives will be present throughout the event as well as partnering with Gumball 3000 at forthcoming events and fundraisers.

For daily updates go to www.gumball3000.com, and catch highlights of the action on YouTube, Pumamotorsport.com, Monsterenergy.com and on MTV - but if you live on route – then stop whatever you're doing, get out of the house - and come along to see your favorite stars and cars roll into a town near you!

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