My preparation for Gumball 3000 continues
One of the main purposes in sharing all my experiences of the Gumball 3000, especially the lead up to it, was to prove the adage true; that if you really believe you can do something and give it your all, you can achieve it.
You will have seen, either elsewhere on this site or on social media, that I have been in the very privileged position of having HYT and Ermenegildo Zegna make items for me to wear on the Rally; the former an incredible, bespoke version of their H0, whilst Zegna has already made me a suit, with a racing jacket to come.
It’s going to be tough . . . on the feet!
Now driving 3000 miles in seven days, weaving my way from Mykonos, to Athens, Thessaloniki, Porto Montenegro, Venice, Monaco, Barcelona and Ibiza, is going to be a challenge. Long distance driving is not the easiest in any circumstances, but in and amongst 99 other high-performance cars, having to sit in traffic, cope with potentially hazardous weather conditions (I’m hoping roasting hot!) and anything else the roads can throw at you, is going to require concentration. What it’s also going to require, given my calculation of around six to nine hours of driving each day (on top of little sleep each night…), is a pair of fine driving shoes; providing comfort but, perhaps even more crucially, the right amount of feel through the pedals. As anyone who has driven a performance car, feel is the most important thing, both through the steering wheel to your hands and the pedals to the balls of your feet.
That’s where I am so happy Piloti came in. Founded in 1999, they have a real passion for motor cars and specialise in creating the finest driving shoes. They have three collections: lifestyle; luxury; and performance, all of which have been optimized for maximum pedal feel, flexibility, fluidity of motion and comfort. They have invested heavily in making their shoes the best for purpose and, in doing so, have created a patented ‘Roll Control 2.0’ that offers 180o motion to ensure the driver has the accuracy they need when driving. In short, they seemed like just the company for the job!
So when I told them about my Rally adventure, their first question was not ‘what do you want from us?’ which the vast majority of brands ask, but in fact their response wasn’t even a question at all… It was ‘what car are you driving?’ and ‘what are you wearing? We will send you a pair of shoes to go with your car and outfit’…!
Elated by this, the next stage was for me to decide which pair to request. This was actually a relatively easy task; Piloti makes a huge number of styles in the three categories outlined above, a number of which, I think, are really cool. But the key for me was the shoes needed to fit in with the ‘old school’, gentleman’s rally theme I had in my mind. Accordingly I quickly narrowed it down to the luxury collection and, specifically, the ‘Mille’.
In a combination of brown and black, tumbled Italian leather and suede, I saw this as the perfect companion to the clothes I have in mind. Of course, style is nothing without substance, but from what I have learned about the brand, they have both in spades.
Have I forgotten anything . . . ?
So yet another piece of the jigsaw has slotted in, my ‘rally wear’ is almost complete and I could not be happier with how the preparations are going…
Now I know there’s something else… Oh yes… I really need to choose a car…!