Baylor to Co-Sponsor Car in Corel Great Race June 16-29June 6, 1996
by Alan Hunt
WACO, Texas - Baylor University will make history when the 1996 Corel Great Race gets underway on Sunday, June 16, in Tacoma, Wash. Baylor will be the first university ever to co-sponsor a vehicle in the 4,000-mile race, which takes in 13 states and one Canadian province.
Baylor and Interactive Strategies International (ISI) will co-sponsor a 1938 Packard Limousine owned by Wacoan Timothy Flynn. Flynn is president of ISI, a Waco-based company that provides satellite technology to improve education and social services, particularly in Third World countries. Flynn, who has participated in a number of old car races in America and abroad, including the famous London to Brighton Run in England, will drive the Packard during the intercontinental race with Herschel Crump of Fort Worth navigating.
"Baylor University and ISI are proud to team together this year for the Great Race," said Flynn. "Like the competing cars, Baylor University stands for more than 150 years of tradition, quality, and heritage, while ISI represents the world of high-tech communications. Together, we make a great team for the race and for the future."
The third member of the Baylor-ISI team will be mechanic Thomas Freylack of Dallas, who will drive a support vehicle to maintain the Packard over the grueling course. Baylor University logos will be displayed on the sides and rear of the solid black Packard, which is powered by an inline 8-cylinder engine. The car, one of the heaviest and largest vehicles in the race, will carry the entry number 76.
Now in its 14th year, the Great Race is a controlled speed endurance event for antique cars, trucks and motorcycles. More than 100 vehicles, some up to 85 years old, will run "against the clock" over timed daily stages, covering up to 450 miles a day. Cash and prizes totaling $250,000 will be awarded to the winners 14 days later as they cross the finish line in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, June 29.
Baylor's co-sponsorship of a vehicle in the Great Race is seen as a "unique and innovative way" for the institution to market itself, said Dr. Charles S. Madden, vice president for university marketing. "Over 750,000 spectators are expected to watch this vintage car classic in the cities and communities along its route, quite apart from the millions who will follow the event on television and in the print media. We hope that our loyal Baylor alumni throughout the 13-state race route will come out and cheer our car on as it passes through their home towns."
Madden added, "The Great Race gives us the opportunity to share the Baylor story and hopefully attract some very talented students in areas that we normally could not visit on a regular basis."
More than 40 cities, both large and small, along the route will stage community-wide celebrations to greet the racers. A choreographed show at each lunch and overnight stop will feature the United States Navy Ceremonial Band from the White House. The event is free to the public and spectators will be invited to meet the drivers and inspect their vehicles at each display stop. ESPN will carry a 1-hour special on the race.
The route will take competitors through the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, and the Candian province of Ontario. Madden noted that four of the states along the route, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, are home to member schools of the Big 12 Athletic Conference, which Baylor joins this year as the conference's lone private institution. "We expect people to be interested in Baylor," he said.
Title sponsor of the 1996 Great Race is Corel Corp. of Ottawa, Canada, the world's second largest computer software company. Other event sponsors include the United States Navy, Chevy Trucks, MBNA America Bank, and QUALCOMM, a company that designs, produces and distributes communication software and hardware.
Most of the pre-1942 vehicles taking part in the race are restored from the ground up, but aside from modifications for safety and preservation, the machines are very close to original specifications. The field includes famous marques from America's automotive past such as Stutz, Mercer, Packard, Knox, and even a 1917 Henderson motorcycle. Other entries include a 1942 wartime Jeep, a 1935 Hispano-Suiza, and a 1930 Pierce-Arrow. One high school shop class in Florida restored an antique Ford Model A and is sponsoring it in the race.
Last year's Great Race crossed international borders for the first time, taking the intrepid racers on a 4,500-mile journey from Ottawa, Canada, to Mexico City. The 1995 grand champion, Curtis Graf of Irving, Texas, is expected to return for this year's event with his 1915 V-12 Packard.
Wacoan Paul J. Meyer will also participate in the Great Race, driving his 1936 Ford panel truck. He is entry number 36. Meyer's red and blue vehicle will carry a City of Waco logo on the back door, along with the words "Waco, Texas, a great place to live" and "Home of Baylor University."
The progress of the Baylor-ISI Packard can be followed daily on the Internet at "http://www.baylor.edu/greatrace/".