Friday was long but fun. After an early breakfast and a drive to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, all teams participated in the rally class, where rookies and veterans alike get a refresher on exactly how the road rally is performed. There are complicated sets of instructions and lots of do’s and don’ts. And then on to the challenge of putting what we learned into practice, during the Hagerty Trophy Run. During this pre-race trial run, Mary and I earned our first “ACE” which is almost like getting a hole in one in a golf game. It’s pretty rare and we’ve never achieved this feat before. An ACE happens when you have a zero score upon arrival at a checkpoint. If you are able to drive between two checkpoints in the exact prescribed time, you get an ACE. We did that today and we weren’t too many seconds off on the other legs either. It was a really fantastic feeling to do this, and we’re proud of our ACE sticker. Brett and Dan also had a good day, driving and navigating together for the first time.
As I mentioned yesterday, there is a huge car event (in addition to the Great Race) going on here on the fairgrounds. We’ve been overwhelmed with all the car enthusiasts and this crowd is also crazy for t-shirts. There’s a shirt for every club, and there seems to be no limit to the number of clubs and cars here…I think I heard someone say there are over 15,000 cars here on display! We are really enjoying all the excitement and all the hoopla but tomorrow we need to hit the course bright and early. It was also wonderful to see all the crowds welcome us along the route to the fairground. Thanks again to everyone back at all the GroupeSTAHL companies around the world who are following and supporting us. We look forward to getting a good night’s sleep, leaving the hotel at 8am, and making our way back to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, where the racers will depart for the first checkpoint along the route, Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We’ll have lunch there before heading to our second checkpoint, LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Here are some more photos from Friday