A Question and Answer Period with Team Corvette from the 3rd Season of Bullrun
The 3rd Season of the hit reality television show Bullrun is right around the corner. Fans are getting excited as soon the chaos, mayhem and non stop action that is Bullrun will be on air. For those unfamiliar with Bullrun, it is a fast paced reality show that mixes all the best aspects of a road rally with the hardcore action from racing challenges. Think of it as an automotive obstacle course, on steroids.
Recently I was able to sit down with Bruno Riberon, driver of Team Corvette. Together with his co-driver Lisette, they piloted their 1987 Chevrolet Corvette dubbed ‘Corvettron’ on the 3rd Season of Bullrun. Below, are his answers to 10 questions about his time on the show.
Q) You were a big fan of Bullrun prior to making it onto the show. How did it feel to know you were about to embark on this great adventure?
A) I followed the first season and I loved the concept. Then the show stopped for a while but seeing it come back on Speed for Season 2 was very exciting. I never missed an episode. Seeing the margin of cars considered for the show, from a Scion TC or a Honda Civic to a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Ferrari 430 , I thought “why not me?” . We made a casting video and the producers must have seen something in us as they invited us for Season 3! The main feeling right after realizing we got selected was panic, You have a week to confirm your days away from work, sign plenty of paperwork and ship your car and say nothing to nobody about what’s going on.
Q) Growing up in France, did you ever think you would be thundering across America in a V8 powered Corvette filming a reality television show?
A) No, never. In my mind that kind of racing was inaccessible. Corvettes were in the same league as Ferraris and other exotic cars accessible only through video games. Driving a modified Corvette for a highly entertaining TV show would have been a childhood dream then.
Q) Did all of your years experience driving the twisting mountainous roads of France translate well to the challenges found on the 3rd Season of Bullrun?
A) It would have helped a lot more if I drove the Corvette in France. Most of my driving experience there was with front wheel drive cars. In Florida, I got used to paved, wide and straight highways. On some of the stages, we dealt with very winding roads, and the old habit of efficiently using engine braking, heel and toeing and fast gear shifting came back quickly. Just ask Lisette.
Q) Some would say a 20+ year old Corvette may not be the best choice for Bullrun. What is your response?
A) Reliability is the key to lasting in the show. Since I bought the car, I made a lot of modifications to the engine but nothing that would make it more likely to break down. No supercharger, no nitrous, etc. A 23 year old car can only have so many things that can go wrong; the mechanics are simple and it doesn’t involve a lot of electronics. Then when it comes to the performance of the car , the previous seasons of Bullrun showed that for most challenges , the team in the car matters more than the car itself.
Q) Why did you name your 1987 Chevrolet Corvette ‘Corvettron’?
A) I really liked the first Transformers movie. After giving the Corvette a paint job, I put a Transformer Autobot symbol on the back instead of the Corvette sign. It had to be Autobot, the car is a GM. Then the jump from Megatron to Corvettron was easy, and it sounded good too!
I must sound like a big dork now…
Q) Were you worried upon seeing who your competition would be on day one of the Bullrun Rally?
A) Some of the cars this year are very impressive. But like I said earlier, you have to see how much risk the drivers are ready to take. Are they willing to put a few dents on it to make it to the next day. The car I drive is relatively inexpensive compared to others this season. I never had to think twice before putting the pedal to the metal.
Q) Without giving too much away, how would you describe the action in Season 3 of Bullrun?
A) If you are familiar with the previous seasons, I would say that it improved from season 2 to 3 as much as it did from 1 to 2… The challenges are incredible!
Q) You and your co driver Lisette have been friends for years. Did 3 weeks on the road alone put any stress on the friendship?
A) First, it is a little more than friendship between us. Then to answer your question, not really. We took a lot of road trips together before. The fact that this time cameras were on and that the clock mattered added a little spice. She trusted my driving skills and i trusted her orientation skills. For the rest, you got to watch the show…
Q) Not only were you out there representing the Corvette community, you were also representing the great people of France. Did you let either of them down?
A) I’ll put it this way, everything we did in the show; we did it to the max. You can only have so many opportunities to participate in something like that. There is no room for regrets. So my fellow Corvette community and mes compatriotes Francais, I am proud of our teams performance and so shall you. (laughs)
Q) So, would you do it again if you had a chance?
A) Totally, we learned a few things that could make us even more valuable for a future show.