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08-08-2011, 07:43 PM #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2011
Hess Motorsports and the Gold Rush Rally 3 "Our Story"
After a 1 ½ years of R&D Damien Hess 2010 SS ZR1 Camaro came to life just in time for the GR3 Rally with our dedicated crew working until the very early morning hours to complete the Camaro. With only a couple of hours worth of driving and Dyno time at 3AM that was heard from over 4 blocks away our project Hess ZR1 Camaro was loaded up into an enclosed trailer and shipped to the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon. The Hess Motorsports Camaro made its first grand entrance into the underground valet parking structure with our MONSTER ZR1 engine making some Serious Noise!! After a quick check in and a few drinks that included several shots of Patron (the shot of choice of Team Hess Motorsports) we had enough time to change and have a quick Sushi dinner to then head over to the big evening bash in Vegas. Needless to say after a night of partying at the Marquee Club until 4AM Damien Hess (Owner/Pilot) and Scott Centra (Hess Marketing/Copilot) were up early to head over to the Las Vegas Speedway for the days event at the drag strip. It was hot, dry and we were a little hung over, but still very happy to be there as we rolled in to the sights and sounds of fighter jets screaming across the sky!!!
At 1PM it was time load up and say our goodbyes to Amber Hess (Owner/VP Damien’s better half) and Chris Bernal Hess Motorsports (GM AKA Corporate Boy) and hit the road to the W Hotel in Scottsdale AZ. Still very hot we charged it making as few stops as we could until we hit a road block at the 40 FWY when a tanker exploded killing two people that caused a 3 to 4 hour FWY closure delaying most of the GR3 participants sitting and waiting for the FWY to open back up, but that did not stop Team Hess Motorsports Camaro!! With text and calls going out to other rally members we were told about an alternative road called Huckberry Road!! This is not a road that you want to see when your car is worth over 300K!! This was a typical out of the middle of nowhere road starting with a rail road track crossing and dirt in front of you. With a quick confirmation check on the navigation, Damien moved forward. It was starting to get dark and cooling down, and we had 20 miles to go on this dirt road with no cell service!! Most car owners that have expensive cars will baby their cars, but not Damien Hess before we knew it we were driving at speeds of 60MPH avoiding cows, bats and jack rabbits!! It was quit an adventure and we were very happy when the 93 FWY was upon us. With a short stop to check for any damage we were back on the FWY and on a paved road smiling once again.
We drove for a couple of more hours until we reached our destination at the W Hotel, and we can’t tell you how happy we were to get out of the Camaro just to stretch!! The check in at the W Hotel had to wait as we both made a run to the nearest bar in the hotel where all the GR3 members went to slam down a few cocktails before getting some rest to once again wake up early to finish the last leg of the rally from Scottsdale to the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California. Meeting time was at 8AM and I know that doesn’t sound to early but when you are sitting in a car for 3 days and running on 3 hours of sleep each day 8AM is early!!! Surprisingly all the GR3 participants were up and ready to go, the front entrance of the hotel was packed with GR3 cars, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes, Maserati, BMW and of course the Team Hess Motorsports MONSTER Camaro!! We were even lucky to see a couple of some very rare sights, one was Stig from the hit TV Show “Top Gear” and the other was a Bugatti Veyron!! Our meeting was short and sweet as we were told to drive together and safely as we were all eager to hit the road and head to the Southern California Coast!! We had 6 hours to go depending on speed and fuel stops with one scheduled stop at In-N-Out Burger in Thousand Palms California .
And once again the rally was on with everyone firing up the cars and hitting the HWY. The drive was relativity smooth due to one of the GR3 members was hooked up with complete state-of-the-art police detector to lead the way as we all drove the speed limit (LOL) Along the way we did run into several Highway Patrol cars marked and unmarked and texting never looked so good as we were pre warned of the officers that were waiting for our arrival. Most members were able to make it through and others weren’t so lucky and got pulled over. With Thousand Palms in our sites and our stomachs screaming for food we pulled into the In-N-Out Burger and were greeted by a 100 or so people that heard we were coming armed with video and camera’s. What was to be a short stop turned out to be a long one as we waited for our food in the massive line to have a chance to eat and refuel our bodies!! At this point we were in California we had food in our bodies and fuel in our tank and only a couple of more hours to go, and once again back on the HWY. The roads were now clear and the temperature was dropping, we knew it was just a matter of time until our journey would be over until we hit the World Famous 91 FWY!! If you have driven that FWY before you all know that it is known for its traffic even on a Saturday afternoon!! Well just our luck, we were all locked up cruising at a whopping 5 to 10MPH. The original plan was to drive the 91W to the 55S and take PCH South to the St. Regis Hotel and enjoy a beautiful relaxing drive up the coast, but that to was now in jeopardy. So now the plan was changed again as we took the 241 Toll Road to avoid the mess in stored for us. There were 40 to 50 Luxury and Exotics cars less than 40 minutes away from our final destination after 7 hours of driving scrambling the toll roads and once again Highway Patrol cars hidden on the shoulders to greet us. With our tolls paid and cops behind us we were in a few miles from the hotel as the weather was amazing, warm and breezy it was a perfect typical summer day in Southern California!!!
Team Hess Motorsports Camaro broke away from the crowd to take some side streets since this was our home town so we had an edge to get there quicker. Then there it was the St. Regis Hotel, home never looked so good!! As we turned into the hotel there was a ton of people waiting for the Gold Rush Rally cars to arrive taking pictures and video of the cars coming in. We stopped at the valet took a deep breath and pulled ourselves from the seats and tried to stand up and stretch!! This is it, we made it and the Hess Motorsports ZR1 Camaro performed beautifully thanks to the crew back at the shop. We got our luggage out, the car was parked and forgotten and it was now time to get ready for the BIG party on a yacht in Newport Beach Harbor. We had just enough time to shower, get dressed and have a couple of drinks before we were loaded onto a bus and driven to the yacht. The buses were full and the rally members were dressed and ready for a night of fun!! We started North on PCH and once again sitting in a vehicle for a 30 minute drive escorted by a couple of Lambo’s driving beside us making some great entertainment for the ride over. Our stop was in Lido Village where we boarded the yacht for drinks, dinner and some special awards ceremony and a Bikini Contest of Miss Gold Rush Rally 3 of 2011!! It was as this time Team Hess Motorsports was awarded the “DIRTIEST CAR AWARD” for the only team taking on Huckberry Road!!! After a few hours on the yacht, we loaded back onto the buses that was quite crazy and as much fun if not more than the party back to the St. Regis Hotel. Once we arrived back at the hotel the entire GR3 crew hit the main hotel bar to find out that last call was at 12:30AM and closed at 1AM. With 50 people standing around trying to get a drink in a bar that was closed was a complete challenge and that’s where it got interesting when one member offered $5,000 to open the bar for a round of drinks to everyone and was shut down so then the offer want up to $10,000 then $15,000 and still no drinks to be had!! So our only on other option was to bust out the only alcohol beverage we had a cheesy bottle of Saint Chrystal Vodka that we got from the yacht party!! After the first taste we all knew that this is not going to work except for one member of the GR3 who was offered $1,000 to drink the entire bottle!! Then before the offer wasn’t finished being agreed upon the bottle was grabbed and consumed!! It was truly amazing and I won’t say any names but I’m not sure how he survived the night!!!
Bottom Line!! is that the rally was full of excitement and was proved to be a great way to launch our Hess Motorsports Camaro ZR1 project vehicle!! At the end of the day Hess Motorsports made a big impact taking our Camaro on the GR3 and may have in fact sold our number 2 limited edition Hess ZR1 Camaro to a Prince from Saudi Arabia!!
Last edited by Aimee; 08-09-2011 at 06:14 PM.
08-09-2011, 07:49 PM #2
Nice story!!! Looks like she's broken in now!!2011 Mercedes E350 Bluetec
1968 Ford Mustang Fastback
2006 Volvo XC90 SUV
Don't you people have jobs? - Dr. Doofenshmirtz
08-16-2011, 10:20 PM #3
Thanks for sharing cool story.2009 LR3
2008 E90 335I
2005 GSXR 600X
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2008 Infiniti G37S coupe Betty RIP07/19/09
We all know that small cars are good for us. But so is cod liver oil. And jogging- Jeremy Clarkson.
08-16-2011, 11:11 PM #4
I love this story!
08-16-2011, 11:32 PM #5
Cant wait for GRIV
08-17-2011, 05:59 AM #6
Sounds like it was one of those stories you will never forget.Car: Impreza Type-25 US Edition Car No. 000
08-19-2011, 03:07 PM #7
Love it guys!!!! Good times here as well. Good Meeting you on gR3. I loved the car a lot.ON THAT OTHER LEVEL... ALREADY! IF YA'LL CANT ALREADY SEE, I AIN'T WORRIED ABOUT YA'LL CAUSE IM ALREADY ME...OH!
Audi or BMW (Incoming)
2003 350Z RED -Track Edition (On its Way Out)
1999 Izusu Rodeo -The Beast/Everything Mobile (SOLD)
08-19-2011, 07:32 PM #8
A little bit of Rally Sport in a Camaro ZR1...niceThere are only four sports: bullfighting, motor racing, mountaineering, and troll hunting; all the rest are merely games.