The Great Race asked for your responses in a survey after the 2014 event, and we tallied the results and have heard you loud and clear. Many of the 110 responses were as expected. There were several other items that were areas we didnt know needed attention. But now we do, and we appreciate you letting us know.
The item that garnered the most responses was food especially lunches. This was something we already knew needed work and we are committed to making sure the quality and variety of food improves. The addition of Jennifer Ringenberg to the staff will pay big dividends in this area. There were signs of improved lunches especially in East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Bennington, Vt.; and Millsboro, Del. And the sandwiches were good in Elizabeth City, N.C., and the barbecue was terrific in Clinton, N.C.
Not having enough time and a place to eat out of the weather was a problem in Myrtle Beach and Savannah, and we promise to fix that going forward. And we learned through the survey that a couple of places ran out of food at the very end. Again, we will work to make sure that doesnt happen in the future.
As far and dinners are concerned, there were also improvements from the last couple of years especially in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Mount Pleasant, S.C. New Great Racers may find it interesting to know that before 2011 the cities did not provide dinner at the overnight stops. We added that four years ago so the racers would not have to worry about finding something to eat and so the participants could spend more time with each other in a relaxing setting.
There were no less than half a dozen responses to the amount of pulled pork on the menus. Obviously, hosting cities find that barbecue (pulled pork in the South) is an easy way to feed almost 400 people. We will work with the cities closer to make sure that we dont have too much pulled pork and that when we do have it that it is spaced out better.
We will not have dinner at a casino again, either, although we may use casino hotels for rooms in the future.
After food, the comment with the next highest number of concerns was transits. It is never our intent to make it difficult for you to reach a restart time after a transit. We at times do want to limit the number of cars at a restart for safety. But we have committed to build in additional time in future rallies, and Director of Competition John Classen has agreed to take that into account as he works on the 2015 Great Race route. John did want to point out that in the future should anyone have trouble making a restart on time after a transit that you can take a time delay.
The next comment was related to inspection, scoring years and age factors. The comments were about cars with incorrect scoring years, however we corrected that problem before the 2014 Great Race. We probably should have explained what was going on to you in advance. The tech inspection process was to make sure your lights and horn work and that you hand all of your safety equipment such as fire extinguisher. The scoring years were confirmed and verified by myself and John Classen at the end of the trophy run. All vehicles, especially those that would be considered street rods (1937 Fords with modern engines) were inspected and given the correct age factor (1957 scoring year for using a 283 engine; 1962 scoring year for a 327 engine; 1967 scoring year for a 350 engine, and so on). Most were scored as a 1972 or later depending on what engine was used.
Other improvements we will be making based on comments in the survey and along the race route are:
·Better support crew instructions (possibly with maps of venues and cities).
·Better competition instructions from the venues to the hotels and to the start hotel the following morning.
·More interesting venues like the USS Yorktown (2014), the Antique Boat Museum (2012) and the Marine Railroad (2012).
There were a lot of positive comments as well, highlighted by the new tech inspection time slots, and we thank you.
If you have other items you wish to discuss, please feel free to contact me at 800-989-7223 or email me at [email protected].