My first Great Race, in 2007, was lots of self learning without instruction books, mentors, etc. Just sign up and learn as you go. That was the last year of the 14-day coast-to-coast races, so it was a long, sometimes frustrating, mistake filled, learning experience. But my driver buddy, Terry, and I were able to finish 5th place out of 24 rookies. And we were able to meet our four goals: 1) finish the race without mechanical breakdown; 2) earn at least one ace; 3) win a little money and; 4) remain friends. I was hooked, but unfortunately there were no races again until 2011 and by that time, I needed another car and a navigator. I convinced my wife, Carolyn, to try navigating, and we purchased a 1936 Packard 120B for the 2011 Great Race. We and the Packard have now completed 5 Great Races and are looking forward to our 6th in 2016. We have worked together with the Great Race organization to improve the rookie experience. Rookies now have lots of help with a how to book and instructional DVDs, veteran mentors, and seminars to help make their rookie race a wonderful experience.