Am’-a-teur, n. One who does it for the love of it.

June 22, 2012

Today was Hagerty Trophy Run.  Kind of a warm-up, but with folks this warm, more of a fun run for us.  The Boys (Youth & Skill, aka Ethan and Nick) had their first real intro to Great Race rallying.  They did fine.  I’d write more, but Ethan has started his own blog – check it out at:

Ethan Corey

We started, back again at Hagerty garage, with intent to tighten the steering gear and change the #8 spark plug, which has a tendency to foul and give us a loping, rough idle.  We pulled the plug and it looked good with just tan deposits, so it went right back in; but in the process I pulled off the cable end!  That added 90 minutes or so to the program.  The steering adjustment also produced no good results, so we decided to just get on with it.

We made the run, over from Traverse City to Empire, MI – a very pleasing little town where we had lunch.  John Classen found some hills and vales and even sand dunes (no we didn’t actually drive over them, but we passed Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and saw a place where they have competitive running-up-the-dune).  Who knows which is more fun: that or this?

I do.  This is.  With Y&S in front of us and working from their clearly optimistic stock VW speedo (gauge, not swimsuit); we found ourselves running right up behind them.  Then they ran up behind another rookie, lost and going way slower than we needed to go.  Then we passed through a small town where it appeared to be normal for people to step into the road regardless of cars in motion, trusting them to violate physics to save them.  We had to pull over and stop not once or twice but three times, for a total adjustment of 100 seconds!  But even so, we did pretty well, scoring 3, 9, 0, and 0 seconds.  Yes that’ s TWO aces!  Only the gods of this rally (Reeder & Stone, grand champs from 2006) did better, with an incredible 0, 0, 0, and 1.  But notice – we got better as the day went on.  Ahem.  Perhaps they’re running scared now.  RIIIIGHT!  Still, our score puts us in 21st overall and third in our Sportsman class.  We can still take this!

First Blood: Two Aces on our Door

Dave played teacher (it does seem a pretty natural role for him), sharing his Navvy Notes with Newbies.  That worked out pretty well for them.  No mechanical problems for us, except all the gauges are out – I think the ground has finally gone to ground heaven.  IF I get a chance in the AM, I’ll pull the instrument cluster and see if I can find the culprit.  If not, no big deal – we can fake it.  We don’ need no stinkin’ gauges – either!

The day ended with our parking lot car show and dinner outside by the bay (Traverse Bay, silly. This IS Traverse City) and a team meeting.  Look at just part of that roomful for meeting.

Just a few of our Great Race friends! Corky is the one talking (OF COURSE!)

There are over 180 drivers & nag-ivators; plus the wonderful Great Race staff (many volunteers), and this is indeed a travelling family.  People not here often ask why we do this crazy thing.  That’s easy: We ALL love it.


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