The 4-hour pre-race Warm-up Rally will start at noon on Friday, June 10. We recommend that racers arrive in Chattanooga on Wednesday or Thursday so that you can register and have your vehicle inspected on Thursday, to be ready for Rally School Friday morning and the Warm-up Rally Friday afternoon. The quick Warm-up Rally will give racers a long speedometer calibration, followed by a quick lunch break, and then 2½ hours of competition that will allow not only contestants to practice their technique, but also allow our competition staff to hone their skills for the week of championship competition that will follow. The day’s winners will be announced at the mandatory General Meeting that evening, which follows a hosted dinner in the Coker Tire Museum.
Saturday, June 11 is the Official Start of Hemmings Motor News Great Race on Chestnut Street in front of Coker Tires Headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Vehicles. At 10:00am, the green flag will wave, and cars will depart for their 7-day, 1575-mile run to Vermont. A quick morning run will take racers to a hosted lunch on Court House Square in Downtown Athens, Tennessee. Then it’s up and over the Appalachians, following a skyway through two National Forests, to our evening stop and hosted dinner at Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
Sunday, June 12, takes racers on a long spectacular ride along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a scenic federal parkway. Our hosted lunch will be at Old Cranks Motorcar Museum in Galax, Virginia, a new city for Great Race. The afternoon run takes racers through the Appalachian foothills to an overnight stop in Salem, Virginia, another new city for Great Race. The Salem Times-Register will host dinner at the Salem Civic Center.
Monday, June 13’s run tours the foothills of the Shenandoah Valley en route to our lunch stop in Harrisonburg, Virginia. We had a memorable overnight stop at Harrisonburg’s Historic Courthouse in 2005; this year we will drive around the Courthouse on the way to our hosted lunch at adjacent Turner Pavilion, the site of Harrisonburg’s farmers’ market. The afternoon run takes racers through a mystery state and across the Potomac River as we approach our overnight stop at Town Centre pedestrian mall in Cumberland, Maryland. Hosted dinner will be in Culinaire Café on the Town Centre mall, run by the Culinary School of Allegany College of Maryland.
Tuesday, June 14 takes racers across the Mason-Dixon Line. Since most of Pennsylvania’s mountains run north and south, and our morning route is from west to east, racers will climb and descend several mountains on their way to our lunch stop in Chambersburg. The venue for our hosted lunch will be Memorial Square. The afternoon run includes a maze, as we cross the Susquehanna River on our way to the overnight stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hosted dinner will be at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum.
Wednesday, June 15 will take racers through rural Pennsylvania and across a covered bridge on our way to a return lunch stop at Laurel Mall in Hazleton, a town we haven’t visited since 1994. Hosted lunch will be at Hazleton Downs, an off-track wagering facility, surely a first for Great Race. The afternoon run takes racers across the Susquehanna River two more times on our way to the overnight stop in Binghamton, New York. Our finish will be downtown on the Court Street Bridge over the Chenango River, and a hosted dinner will be at the nearby Veterans Memorial Arena.
Thursday, June 16 is the first day of the two-day Championship Run. That morning we travel to the Finger Lakes region of New York State en route to our lunch stop in Cooperstown on the shore of Lake Otsego. Our hosted lunch stop will be on Main Street in front of the Hall of Fame, and racers will have an extra half hour and free admission to visit the Hall of Fame. The afternoon run includes another maze and takes racers across the Erie Canal. Our overnight stop is at the Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Friday, June 17 features an intense morning of competition as the final day of Championship Run. The day’s run crosses the Hudson River and features two more covered bridges, a quick trip around a historic battle monument, and enters a new state for Great Race: Vermont. The timed competition will be over when we arrive at Stratton Mountain, the ski resort that is our lunch host. Then it’s a quick transit to Hemmings Motor News’ headquarters in Bennington, Vermont, where teams will stage for the 1/4-mile drive to the Grand Finish on Main Street. At 3:00 PM, the Hemmings Motor News 1932 Ford Speedster will lead the finishers to the Checkered Flag and the Grand Champion and other winners of the Hemmings Motor News Great Race will be announced. That evening, Hemmings President Jim Menneto will honor the winners and present awards at the farewell dinner at Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington.
-John Classen, Director of Competition