The Spirit of Stahls’ teams are getting a much earlier start this year in preparing for the Great Race 2016. Last year we had to prepare for scorching heat through Arizona, New Mexico and points along Route 66. This year it’s all about getting through the mountains and surviving over 2,000 miles of rallying from San Rafael, California to Moline, Illinois. The 2016 Great Race is supposed to travel the most varied terrain in more than 15 years. With an official start on June 18th just outside of San Francisco, we will leave the Pacific coastline and travel through California wine country, tackling the Sierra Nevada mountain range; through the rugged middle of Nevada to the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Then we’ll head into the Rocky Mountains, savoring the picturesque Black Hills of South Dakota and passing by one of the country’s most impressive monuments, Mount Rushmore; as well as the spectacular Badlands. Upon leaving the Badlands, we’ll (hopefully) cross the Mississippi River to the finish line in Moline. As you can see, there are a lot of mountain passes we will have to overcome. Which is why we are outfitting the cars with superchargers–to give us the extra horsepower and torque that will be needed to traverse the changes in altitude. Dave McAllister, our mechanical guru, is already hard at work. Mary and I had the chance to stop in at the garage to lend a hand and see the progress he’s been making. There’s a preliminary rally for Great Racers on May 12th around Lake Erie and we are hoping to have the cars ready to participate. If you are new to this blog and are wondering what the Great Race is and why we do it, this post should help explain.