A FLEET of multi-million pound supercars are to jet into Scotland before roaring down The Mound led by former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff.
To celebrate its 15th year, Gumball 3000 is to cross two continents and 3000 miles in seven days with more than 120 of the world’s most exclusive cars taking part.
Each year the rally boasts a galaxy of A-list stars. Previous Gumballers include Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue, Guy Ritchie and Adrien Brody.
A star-studded line-up of rock stars, supermodels, playboys and sports greats is to be announced ahead of this year’s event, which gets under way in Miami on June 5.
From Florida the rally travels to Atlanta and New York before a fleet of private jets and cargo planes whisk the racers across the Atlantic – arriving on The Mound on June 8.
The street will be completely closed off, allowing celebrity spotters and adrenaline junkies the chance to view the high-octane fun.
Race organiser Maximillion Cooper and his fiancee pop star, Eve, got engaged in the Capital on Christmas Day last year and it was their wish to return ahead of their wedding in Ibiza at race end.
Each entrant must part with £40,000 to enter the seven-day road trip which features just about every Ferrari, Bugatti and Lamborghini made in the last 30 years – the Batmobile from the Dark Knight movies also joined the line-up last year.
Mr Cooper, 41, who was previously married to ex-business partner Julie Brangstrup and has four children, said the rally will double up as his stag week.
He said: “Incorporating Edinburgh into the route and stopping off in London just adds to the romanticism, having met in London and proposed on Christmas Day in Edinburgh, I can’t wait.
“Driving 3000 miles from Miami to get to our wedding in Ibiza sounds pretty crazy, but we met on the Gumball back in 2010, so incorporating the rally into our wedding plans seemed appropriate.”
Leading the racers back to Edinburgh this year will be former Knight Rider and Baywatch star Hasselhoff, who caused quite a stir in the Evening News offices back in 2012 when he popped in ahead of staging his own one-man show during the Festival.
However the actor’s star credentials cut no ice with one city parking warden, who slapped his famous Kitt car with a ticket as The Hoff attended a press call in the Pleasance Courtyard.
Asked whether they would consider inviting the 61-year-old star on board a by-then up-and-running-tram, bosses remained open-minded. An Edinburgh Trams spokeswomen said: “If he happens to be interested, then why not?”
City festivals and events champion Councillor Steve Cardownie has told how the rally promises to be a very exciting spectator event.
He added: “This day out is bound to prove popular with motorsport fans and interested spectators alike.
“Good luck to everyone taking part and enjoy yourselves.”
Inspiration for Reynolds films
In 1933, a motorcycle racer called Cannonball Baker travelled from the east coast to the west coast of the US in 54 hours. Almost two decades later, the same route was raced by cars.
But due to pressure from police, the event was cancelled in 1979.
The race was the inspiration for films The Gumball Rally and Cannonball Run starring Burt Reynolds.
Mr Cooper organised the first Gumball 3000 race in 1999 when participants included 50 of his rich friends.
In 2000, it expanded to include anyone able to foot the £40,000 registration fee.