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Nine Days of The Great Race 2013 Begin This Weekend

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On: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 4:26PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Nine Days of The Great Race 2013 Begin This Weekend

2013’s Great Race kicks off today, June 21st, for the 30th time since 1983. The Great Race course in 2013 begins in St. Paul, Minnesota and ends in Mobile, Alabama. This path takes drivers through Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Around 100 cars are expected to start this race—how many will finish is yet to be determined.

The Great Race is a street-legal antique, vintage, and collector car rally. All vehicles in this race were made in 1969 or earlier. This competitive event is all about controlled speed, endurance, and navigation on public highways. This event is an endurance race and the winner is based on a timed-distance run. Unlike other races, speed is not a factor, nor is it about who finishes the course first.

During the course of each day, drivers stop for scheduled breaks for lunch, dinner, and overnight rest in different towns—they are greeted in each location by large crowds of enthusiastic car lovers.

According to the official rule book for the Great Race, drivers are assigned average speeds for different parts of the course—often around 50 miles per hour. Drivers have to stay at or below the assigned speeds, which abide by posted speed limits in the areas they travel through.

Drivers are assigned a designated route to follow and provided with course instructions. This race is meant to challenge the participants’ abilities to follow instructions carefully, as well as their vehicle’s capabilities to make a cross-country road trip. Day one kicks off with excitement and enthusiasm, and as each day passes, the drivers and cars are pushed to their breaking points.

The excitement from this event comes when nerves are tested and older vehicles reach their limits—it’s not uncommon that teams have to make impromptu stops to make major mechanical repairs so they can carry on and try to finish the trip. Starting times are early and days are long; if drivers want to have a chance of winning, they need to be prepared for anything and keep their head straight over all 2,100 miles and nine days of travel.

A winner will be determined based on points awarded based on accuracy, navigation, and matching times and speeds throughout the course. The older the vehicle, the greater the point advantage as they receive bonus points in the Great Race. This year’s Grand Champion will win $50,000.

Television coverage is limited, so if you’re able to spectate at one of the stops on the course map, be sure to bring your camera and cheer on the drivers!

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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