After spending a few days in San Rafael, California, we knew that this morning would be something special. The town was covered in advertisements for the Grand Start of the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty. Banners, flags and flyers helped promote the Great Race, and the town was buzzing all week as we made our way to all of the pre-race activities. Today, Saturday, June 18th was the start of the 2016 Great Race, and we were greeted by thousands of spectators, who were eager to see the cars blast off from the starting line. MotorMouth addressed the crowd, with help from Dennis Pittsenbarger, as well as a few words from Corky Coker and San Rafael Mayor (and Great Race participant) Gary Phillips. More than 100 racers rolled through the starting line, on their way to the greatest adventure they can do every year.
Once the racers made their way out of downtown San Rafael, it was smooth sailing for a few miles, but then traffic became an issue. After making it through a major backup on Highway 37, the racers took to the back roads, and made their way toward Vacaville, California for a lunch stop. And imagine that–more traffic! Thankfully, we made it into downtown Vacaville and enjoyed a little bit of shade from the California sun, while we had a tasty burrito. The afternoon route was filled with beautiful farm land…we lost count of the many types of crops growing in the dry California soil. The route finished with rolling hills and another dose of farm land before hopping on the highway to roll into our evening stop in Old Sacramento, California. The old part of town is super cool and we took it over with a bunch of old cars, and of course, a big crowd of spectators to welcome them into town. Day one of the Great Race is in the books, and we saw lots of fun stuff right off the bat. The Coker Tire corporate team of Gary and Jean Ann Martin won the day with a score of 3 seconds, which puts them in first place overall. Take a look at our highlights from day one and stay tuned for more awesome scenery and city stops tomorrow!