Washington will be one of the stops of the Great Race 2013, an antique, vintage and collector car competitive controlled-speed endurance road rally on public highways.
The race, set for June 22-30, will take participants through 10 states in nine days for a total of 2,100 miles.
Race participants will stop in Washington for lunch Tuesday, June 25, before continuing on to Cape Girardeau for an overnight stop, according to Mary Beth Rettke, Washington tourism director.
Rettke said tentative plans are for race participants to eat lunch at the Farmers’ Market in Downtown Washington.
“We plan to close several blocks of Main Street while they are here,” she said. “A representative of the event is coming here in mid-March to finalize all of the details, but we’re excited to have them here.”
Rettke said an archway will be set up at Main and Jefferson streets and there will be an announcer’s booth to describe each car as it makes the turn onto Main Street.
The cars will be parked at the Main and Cedar streets parking lot and along Main Street for the public to view while the drivers eat lunch.
“They will only be here one hour and I don’t know the exact time yet of their arrival,” Rettke said. “As we get more information, we will make the public aware of it so they can come down and check out the cars.”
According to the Great Race website, the race is not a test of top speed. It is a test of a driver/navigator team’s ability to follow precise course instructions and the car’s and team’s ability to endure on a cross-country trip. The course instructions require the competing teams to drive at or below the posted speed limits at all times.
Each day the driver and navigator team receives a set of course instructions that indicate every turn, speed change, stop, and start that the team must make throughout the day — usually 220 to 250 such instructions per day.
Along the course route there will be from four to seven checkpoints recording the exact time that the team passes that point. The objective is to arrive at each checkpoint at the correct time, not the fastest.
The score for each team is the result of the team’s ability to follow the designated course instructions precisely. Every second off the perfect time (early or late) at each checkpoint is a penalty point. This format is much more mentally demanding than a flat-out cross-country race.
Also, GPS or computers are not permitted and odometers are taped over. This is a test of human mental agility and endurance as well as classic car endurance, rather than programming capability, according to the rules posted.
The course avoids timed segments on interstate highways, opting instead for scenic local, county and state highways whenever possible through some of the prettiest country in the United States, the website stated.
Any car up through model year 1969 is eligible to enter. For purposes of scoring, the older the vehicle, the better the age factor adjustment the team will receive. Newer vehicles are permitted in Regional Rallies. But for the Great Race, the vehicle must be 1969 or older.
The rules reward older cars by giving a percentage reduction of the team’s score based on the age of the vehicle. The older the model year, the bigger the percentage deduction the team receives.
The older cars in the race varies from year to year, but a 1911 Velie won the event in 2011. And in 2012, a 1907 Renault and a 1914 Ford Model T, were the top finishers.
10 States in Nine Days
The race will begin Saturday, June 22, in St. Paul, Minn., with a stop for lunch in Eau Claire, Wis., and overnight in La Crosse, Wis. Next the race travels to Dubuque, Iowa, for lunch Sunday, June 23, and overnight at Davenport, Iowa.
On Monday, June 24, the group will stop for lunch in Peoria, Ill., and overnight in Hannibal, Mo. Next, the race participants stop for lunch in Washington Tuesday, June 25, and overnight at Cape Girardeau. On Wednesday, June 26, lunch is planned at Paragould, Ark., and overnight at Germantown, Tenn. The lunch stop on Thursday, June 27, will be at Monticello, Ark., and overnight at Vicksburg, Miss.
On Friday, June 28, participants will eat lunch at Natchez, Miss., and overnight at Baton Rouge, La. Lunch on Saturday, June 29, is planned at Crowley, La., and overnight at Covington, La. On the last day, lunch will be served in Irvington, Ala., with the finish line in Mobile, Ala.