By Steve Hedke, who will be representing LeMay – America’s Car Museum with his wife Janet and their daughter Allison in the Great Race
Each race officially begins with a general meeting for all participants: race teams, support crews, timing and scoring, and checkpoint crews. This year that consists of nearly 500 people working their way up to Tacoma, and we filled a large meeting room at the Marriott in Riverside this morning.
Cars were still being repaired, and at least one was abandoned: that team bought another car to race. Hey, it’s Southern California and we still have lots of old cars around. And it’s not the first time this has happened.
After the meeting we have the Great Race director of competition explain how the race is run, followed by the presentation on the techniques for rallying. Once those are over its time to leave for the Trophy Run. This year’s run was held southeast of Riverside in the shadows of the San Jacinto Mountains, which is ‘horse’ country with many large ranches nestled in to the rocky countryside.
The Trophy Run is a half day rally designed to get your skills up before the ‘big’ race. Scores don’t count for the main event, but trophies are awarded for the best in each division. We are proud to announce that the LeMay – Americas Car Museum entry finished 4th overall and first in Expert Division! On top of that we earned 3 ‘Aces’, which means we had perfect scores on 3 of the 5 legs. We also got ‘Ace’ stickers for the car, and watch for those as the cars come in to Tacoma: there is a prize for the most Aces, and you’ll see them all along our doors.
As you would expect we feel really good about going in to the official start tomorrow. Our Studebaker is performing nicely, clearly our speedometer is calibrated correctly (at least for now), and our team is healthy and ready for the adventure to come!